Prison for man who set up ‘cannabis factory’ in flat

Drop Folder News / ATEX News.18/10/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Scarborough Magistrates Court.'104208a
Drop Folder News / ATEX News.18/10/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Scarborough Magistrates Court.'104208a

A Scarborough man has been sent to prison for 14 weeks after setting up a “cannabis factory” in a South Cliff flat.

Mark James Williams, 27, of New Queen Street, admitted producing a quantity of the Class B drug, in what was described as a “sophisticated set-up” by the prosecution.

The court heard how the landlord, who had been carrying out routine checks, discovered 11 plants growing under lights in the property.

Steven Ovenden, prosecuting, said: “There was no furniture in the flat and it was clearly being used for the production of cannabis.

“It could be described as a cannabis factory, albeit on a small scale.”

He explained that plywood had been placed across the window frames and that the growing set-up featured lights, hydrophonic systems and a cooling tower.

Mr Ovenden added that the plants were fairly well established, but not fully grown.

It is believed that the fully-grown yield would have been in the region of 495g, which would have a street value of £3,500 to £5,000.

The court also heard that Williams had told police he was a heavy user of cannabis and that he was producing the drug for his own use.

Nick Tubbs, mitigating, said: “This is wholly out of character for him. He has an extensive record, but nothing for drugs previous to this offence.

“He was at the time a heavy user of cannabis and made the decision to grown his own rather than buy it on the street.”

Mr Tubbs explained that there was no evidence that his client was supplying the drug to others.

He said: “There were none of the often-seen aggravating features, such as large amounts of cash.

“He insists it was for his own use.”

Mr Tubbs added that Williams had been suffering from some health problems and thought that cannabis might help with the pain.

On delivering sentence, chairman of the bench Mike Dineen said: “You had set up a very sophisticated establishment. In effect, you were setting up a cannabis factory.”

Williams was jailed for 14 weeks and a destruction order was made for the cannabis.