A CLYDEBANK father of four who had tens of thousands of pounds worth of cannabis plants in his family flat has been jailed.

Aaron Swanson, 23, pleaded guilty at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week to producing cannabis and to being concerned in the supply of the drug between October 22, 2020 and January 22, 2021.

He was on two bail orders at the time.

Fiscal depute Laura Wilcox told the court that police attended the common close of Dalmuir Court around 9pm on Friday, January 22 and observed a strong smell of cannabis. They saw condensation on the windows.

Officers rammed their way into the property 15 minutes later and immediately saw the cultivation.

They obtained a search warrant and found 10 fans, 16 lamps, 10 transformers, 64 plant pots, ducting and extension cables.

There were 51 plants in different stages of development, as well as an amount of herbal cannabis.

The estimated total value was £17,500, said Ms Wilcox.

But Sheriff Maxwell Hendry pointed out that the plants had a range of estimated values, with a potential upper limit of £35,500.

He also said one of Swanson’s bail orders had been granted on July 8, and he then started his farm on October 22.

Days later, Swanson had told another sheriff he would stay out of trouble.

“He was effectively turning a blind eye to the fact he was on bail,” said the sheriff.

Swanson’s defence solicitor told the court her client was a cannabis smoker and had experimented with harder drugs in the past – and said he had the “common misconception” that cannabis poses no societal harm.

She said: “He has had time to reflect, in particular with fellow prisoners.”

The solicitor said Swanson’s crimes had a significant impact on him, but more so on his partner and young family. She added: “The partner was left to deal with the fallout.”

Sheriff Hendry said those were factors Swanson should have considered before he committed his crimes “in the house where his family were living”.

He told Swanson: “You have been committing criminal offences for about seven years and have not desisted from offending.

“You set about creating a system for cultivating cannabis. You have been a cog in the machine [of the drug trade], and not a trivial cog.”

Swanson is currently serving a prison sentence for a separate offence, and his new 16-month sentence will start at the end of that one.