Officer found drugs farm after routine call

Action: Preston Crown Court
Action: Preston Crown Court
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A police officer making inquiries about a motoring incident stumbled upon a cannabis farm in a terraced house in Preston.

Debra Quinn, 51, and Gary Jones, 51, lived together at the house in Fazackerley Street, Ashton when the officer called following a road traffic accident.

But inside the house he noticed there was a strong smell of cannabis and asked Jones if there was any of the drug in the property. Jones produced a bag of cannabis from a drawer in the kitchen but when he was asked if there was any more cannabis in the house he claimed there was not. The officer went upstairs where he found a locked room.

Preston Crown Court heard that inside the room had been fitted out with electric lighting, heating and ventilation,and there were 25 mature plants .

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, described the room “as a small scale professional operation.” The electricity meter had also been bypassed.

The drugs were analysed and found to have a street value of £13,000.

Jones and Quinn were arrested and pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis, although the court heard Quinn was not directly involved in the production.

Jones said the cannabis in the bag did not belong to him but he had agreed to separate and bag it up for an unnamed person. Jones told officers: “I was trying to make some money. That’s all, really - growing weed to sell it.”

He admitted he had been selling cannabis for around six months.

Quinn was given a two year conditional discharge and Jones was sentenced to 16 months suspended for two year with 18 months supervision.