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Monday, 10 October 2011 (3019535)
Village pair had cannabis farm at home
by Guest

A BICKERSTAFFE couple were found to have a secret cannabis farm in their home, a court heard.

Police raided the premises of Terence Jones and Catherine Daley just before Christmas last year and discovered cannabis plants in a sophisticated growing system in a bedroom.

Jones, 46, a vehicle body repairer, who pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis and possessing small amounts of cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy, was jailed for 16 months.

His 46-year-old partner, who admitted permitting the premises to be used for cultivating cannabis, was placed under supervision for two years.

Joe Allman, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that as well as the plants growing in the bedroom of their home at Waterworks Cottage, Simonswood Lane, Bickerstaffe, there was a secret drying room behind a wall in the garage and further cannabis plants were found there, bringing the total to 51.

They were grown using a sophisticated system with special ventilation, heating and lighting and using hydroponics.

Sentencing them Judge David Swift said, “It was on any view a carefully orchestrated and sophisticated arrangement. The projected yield had a potential value of up to £44,000.”

He told Jones that he had been running a commercial operation. “You were to be paid for providing the use of your premises for this operation and played an important part in the production of cannabis knowing what you were doing was illegal and expecting financial reward.”

Defence barrister, John Gibson, said that Jones acknowledged “he had acted unlawfully and foolishly in allowing himself to be drawn into this enterprise.”

He did not have control over the operation and had not gained financially. He had had financial problems and is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour and for dragging his partner into it.

Robert McLoughlin, defending, said that she had not initially known about the operation but eventually realised and then “buried her head in the sand.”

She has no previous convictions and has found the whole experience very distressing, he added.


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