THE son of a Brighouse man whose death led to a police inquiry has avoided being sent to jail.
Thomas Kerry was given a 32-week jail term suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to offences of supplying cannabis, possessing cannabis with intent to supply and producing cannabis at Bradford Crown Court.
He was the son of John Kerry, 38, who was on licence following a substantial prison sentence and was used as his “retail agent” for supplying cannabis to users.
Police launched an investigation in August when Mr Kerry died at a house in South Street, Brighouse. His 21-year-old son was arrested in May after police were tipped off about a strong smell of cannabis coming from his home in Rogerson Square, Brighouse.
When officers searched the property they found 1.7kilograms of skunk cannabis in various bags together with six cannabis plants being grown with the use of lights, transformers and watering equipment.
Prosecutor Niall Carlin said the skunk cannabis had an estimated retail value of more than £14,000 and the plants could have yielded a further 540 grammes of the drug worth about £4,600.
Police also found digital scales and a quantity of plastic bags in the house.
The court heard that during his interviews Kerry, who had no previous convictions, confessed to selling cannabis on behalf of someone else for about six months.
Barrister Stephen Wood, for Kerry, described him as “impressionable” and said he was acutely aware of the consequences for his natural father if he did not comply with his requests.
Mr Wood submitted that Kerry’s remorse for the offending was genuine and he would not be able to join the armed forces if he was sentenced to custody.
Judge Shaun Spencer QC said Kerry, who has hopes of following his stepfather into the military, had allowed his father to grow cannabis at his address while he was in a hostel and had also acted as his father’s “retail agent”.
“It seems to me it would be reasonable to conclude that you acted very much out of misguided loyalty and that sense of loyalty on your behalf was exploited by your father,” the judge told Kerry.
“It would be difficult to disentangle yourself from this arrangement without blowing the whistle on your father.
“Your father has since died and you feel able to come out with the full story.”
Kerry will also have to do 120 hours unpaid work as part of the suspended sentence order.