PHOTO: There were 353 plants seized from the flat made up of 13 different strains. Photo: File / GETTY

A property manager who leased a student flat to a cannabis syndicate for a half-million-dollar drug grow says he is happy he was caught.

Michael John Kinraid (33) appeared in the Dunedin District Court this afternoon after pleading guilty to cultivating the class-C drug.

Judge Peter Rollo sentenced him to 10 months’ home detention and 300 hours’ community work.

Kinraid, in a letter to the court, apologised for his actions which had come about only through his own “stupidity”.

He had let himself and his family down, he said.

Kinraid told Probation, however, his arrest had been the catalyst he needed to address his addiction to cannabis.

“I’m kind of glad it happened,” he said. “I needed something to make me stop.”

Michael John Kinraid (33). Photo: Rob Kidd

Michael John Kinraid (33). Photo: Rob Kidd

Kinraid’s job involved him working for a property business – owned by his father – which provided rental accommodation for the numerous tertiary students in Dunedin.

But one house in Union St East was leased to 26-year-old local farmer Dylan Pattison in March last year.

The house was supposed to be worth $400 a week rent but, the court heard, Kinraid was paid an ounce of cannabis per week instead.

Police soon got wind of a massive cannabis cultivation taking place and intercepted communications between Pattison, Kinraid and a third man.

The trio regularly discussed things that needed to be done to the plants at the house and when various rooms were ready for harvest.