Drug farmer jailed

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A MAN who allowed a cannabis factory to be set up in his home has been jailed.

Police discovered 56 plants in the loft and bedroom of the property on Granville Road, Blackpool.

They had the potential to produce cannabis with a street value as high as £28,000, Preston Crown Court heard.

Mark Horrabin, 48, pleaded guilty to producing a controlled drug and also possessing a small amount of amphetamine.

The court was told, police raided his home last September.

Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, said the defendant allowed officers access when they went to the address to execute a search warrant.

She added: “A relatively sophisticated growing system was in place. The plants looked healthy.”

Some herbal cannabis was found in a carrier bag in a cupboard under the stairs.

In total, there was a potential yield of around four to five kilos of the drug.

Horrabin accepted having fed them, when questioned by police, but denied harvesting the plants.

He said he had done it to reduce a large debt but had no previous drug related offences on his record.

David Thomson, defending, said police had not forced entry to the address.

They knocked on the door and were invited in by the defendant.

He added: “The background was that some duress had been brought to bear on Horrabin.

“He had been put under pressure by others for money.

“He offered them money, but was told it was not enough and that he would have to do this.

“Two initial failed harvests only increased the pressure on him.”

Jailing Horrabin for 16 months, Judge Anthony Russell said he could not overlook the seriousness of the case by suspending a prison term.

He added: “It must be understood any involvement in the production of a controlled drug, including cannabis, is a serious matter.

“The operation about which I have heard was a relatively sophisticated one. I accept you were not a leader.

“It is conceded you had a significant role in the cultivation, albeit under a degree of coercion.

“That is, very regrettably, quite often the situation in cases of this kind.

“It is sad to see somebody before the court who, for a long period of time, has led a perfectly decent life.”

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