Cumbernauld man spared jail over cannabis farm in Abronhill
Daniel Lang was shown mercy by a sheriff who heard criminals had forced him to rent the flat they used for growing the illicit plants. He insisted he agreed to become involved only because he and his family had been threatened over his brother's drug debt.
Lang, 34, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis in Spruce Road on March 19, 2021.
Airdrie Sheriff Court heard that plants worth around £9,000 were seized along with sophisticated growing equipment. The cultivation was uncovered when the landlord went to the property after the monthly rent wasn't paid. Defence agent Gary Morton admitted it was a "professional-style set-up".
Lang has a previous conviction for a similar offence but claimed that in both cases he became involved only to help pay his brother's debt.
Mr Morton said: "His position here is clear. His brother fled to England. My client was told that if he signed a tenancy agreement for this house and paid the rent those debts would be cleared.
"He had no access to the property. He was given cash to pay into his bank account and transfer to the landlord. I understand that at some point the rent wasn't paid and the landlord found out what was happening when he went to the house."
The lawyer said "genuine" threats had been made against Lang and his family by the criminals behind the enterprise, adding: "It was quite sinister. He was put in an almost impossible situation. There was no commercial gain for him."
Lang had been taking cannabis since the age of 12 and was also a cocaine user, but in recent months he has been drug-free.
Mr Morton added: "He has tried hard to turn his life around. He is now working as a sales manager with a heating company."
Sheriff Joseph Hughes placed Lang under supervision for 30 months, telling him: "I'm prepared to step back from custody.There is benefit to society if you are under supervision and paying back through unpaid work."
Lang must carry out 300 hours of unpaid community work and will be electronically tagged for a year, meaning he's confined to his home at night.