A telesales worker caught with three kilos of cannabis worth almost £30,000 in his house has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Father of three Sunny Mehta had “ruined his character” by selling the Class B drug to family and friends to fund his own habit, Bradford Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Mehta, 33, a married man with three children, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply it and possession of money as criminal property on May 8 last year.

Prosecutor Gerald Hendron said the police attended Mehta’s home on Leaventhorpe Lane in Thornton, Bradford, after reports that a boy aged 16 was burgling the property.

Police officers had been told that the youth had been seen climbing through a window at the address but no intruder was found.

Mr Hendron said that officers noticed an overpowering smell of cannabis at the house. They found bags of it on the living room table and three large shopping bags of cannabis bush in a cardboard box.

More of the drug was discovered in a Spiderman plastic box, two buckets in a hall cupboard and in the kitchen, along with £3,465 in cash.

Mr Hendron said that in all, 2.955 kilos of skunk cannabis was seized with a street value of £29,622.

Mehta told the police he was making the drug into herbal oil to treat his father’s illness.

Andrew Dallas, Mehta’s barrister, handed in a sheaf of references to Judge Jonathan Rose.

He said Mehta was of previous “exemplary” character and the probation report was extremely positive.

Judge Rose sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 280 hours of unpaid work.

The judge made a Proceeds of Crime Act timetable to take back the money that Mehta had made from his drug dealing.