Dad grew cannabis to fund daughter’s dream wedding

FACTORY Police discovered a cannabis factory at Wayne Longley's house in Gomersal.
FACTORY Police discovered a cannabis factory at Wayne Longley's house in Gomersal.

A BUILDER set up a cannabis factory under his garage to fund his daughter’s dream Jamaican wedding.

Wayne Longley, 47, said he got into financial difficulties in the recession and set up the bunker to get together enough money to pay for his daughter’s wedding.

But his secret factory was discovered - and now Longley is unable to get a visa to fly to the West Indies to give his daughter away.

Leeds Crown Court heard last Thursday Longley, of Latham Lane, Gomersal, was well respected within the building trade but began the illegal enterprise after the recession caused financial problems.

He came under further financial pressure to fund his daughter’s wedding, due to take place later this year.

Ewan McLachlan, prosecuting, said police searched his home on November 23, 2011, but left without finding anything.

They returned the next day, when officers discovered a hidden window in his garage which led to two rooms where 31 cannabis plants were growing under high quality equipment.

Longley had also bypassed the electricity supply, using energy worth about £5,000. The plants were valued at about £16,000.

He pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and extracting electricity.

The court heard Longley had no previous convictions and was a well respected self-employed builder.

The court heard his family had suffered as a result of his actions and the effect on his daughter would be ‘tremendous’ if he could not go to her wedding.

He has now knocked down the garage as a ‘symbolic gesture’ to his family.

Recorder Richard Mansell QC gave Longley an 18 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to do 150 hours’ unpaid work.