A FORMER soldier who was found producing thousands of pounds worth of cannabis has been jailed.

Police officers found 53 cannabis plants when they searched the home of Gregory Morgan, 28, on October 5 last year.

Out of these, 25 plants in Morgan’s garage were around 2.6 metres in height while the remaining smaller plants were found in a separate room.

A total of between 1.4kilos and 4.4kilos was found, with a value of between £9,540 and £34,980 of cannabis.

Lighting equipment, extractors and transformers used for the production process were also found, Cardiff Crown Court heard at the sentencing on Monday.

Jenny Yeo, prosecuting, said the quantity found was “far in excess” of the amount required for personal use, even if the user had a “heavy habit.”

Morgan, of Ty-nant in Pen Y Rheol, Caerphilly, who previously pleaded guilty to production of cannabis, admitted the class B drug was his but initially told police it was only for personal use.

He later admitted that some of the cannabis was grown for sale.

Eugene Egan, defending, said Morgan had served for three-and-a-half years in the British Army before leaving in 2013, partly due to family responsibilities.

Mr Egan explained that Morgan has family responsibilities as one of his two children has been diagnosed with spina bifida.

He said Morgan is responsible for driving his daughter to medical appointments.

Morgan was transferred to barracks in Cardiff due to his commitments, before leaving the army.

Mr Egan said Morgan had since found adjusting to civilian life difficult, and had struggled to find work.

He also said Morgan had spoken about experiencing depression.

Judge Michael Fitton QC said it was “significant” that Morgan had one previous conviction for a similar offence concerned in the production of cannabis, and also a caution for a similar offence.

He dismissed Morgan’s initial claims the drug was solely for personal use as “nonsense.”

Judge Fitton said Morgan was aware of his family responsibilities while committing the crime, and knew the risk he was taking.

“You’ve let them (his family) down badly,” he added.

Morgan was sentenced to 18 months in prison. A forfeiture and destruction order was made on all the exhibits in the case.