Drugs den tenant avoids jail

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A 54-year-old man who used his home as a drug den has avoided jail.

Chris Harris received a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, when he appeared at Leyland Magistrates Court, charged with the production of cannabis.

Harris, formerly of Fox Lane, Leyland, a tenant of Leyland-based Progress Housing Group, has been ejected from the property.

Police searched his home and found illegal drugs.

Staff from Progress attended and a substantial number of cannabis plants, drug paraphernalia and 
growing equipment, as well as a large amount of money, were found.

A very large wood burning fire was also found to have been installed incorrectly - without permission of the housing group.

This led to serious health concerns for neighbours and their families.

Harris was also ordered by the court to remain at a property on Mendip Road, Clayton-le-Woods, between 9pm and 6am for two months and to pay £500 towards the court costs at £10 per week, as well as a £80 victim surcharge.

The money found was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act and a financial investigation resulted in an application being made to Preston magistrates for its forfeiture. It will now go towards fighting crime in Lancashire.

Bernie Keenan, executive director of housing, community and support services at Progress, said: “Residents are once again able to enjoy their homes in peace.

“This is a great result for the residents of Fox Lane, who have had to put up with this anti-social behaviour for too long. By working closely with the South Ribble Neighbourhood Policing Team, we have helped to reduce anti-social behaviour for the local community.”