St Annes home turned into cannabis farm

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A five-bedroomed St Annes property was turned into a cannabis farm, capable of growing around £35,000 worth of cannabis, a court heard.

Polish Radek Lukasinski rented the house, on the basis that he could repair and then sublet it to others.

Another man came along and Lukasinski found himself getting involved in a cannabis growing operation, Preston Crown Court was told.

Plants were growing in rotation at the site on Alexandra Road.

Lukasinski, 31, was jailed for three years after admitting producing cannabis, abstracting electricity and also possessing cannabis and amphetamine with intent to supply.

Joe Allman, prosecuting, said that on December 17, while surveillance was being carried out on the property, a car pulled up. Lukansinski was the front seat passenger.

He and another man got out. They left together 45 minutes later.

The vehicle was stopped by police on Clifton Drive North and it was noticed the car smelled of cannabis.

Prosecutors said a search warrant went on to be executed at the address.

Around 55 mature plants were growing there under hydroponic equipment.

Around 80 cuttings were found in a second floor room and 36 immature plants were also discovered.

The large cannabis plants could have yielded 3.5 kilos of the drug with a street value of £35,700.

Lukasinski had rented the Alexandra Road property since August 10 and had arranged he would do the repair work in lieu of rent.

Prosecutors said they had no doubt the cannabis farm was capable of making significant amounts for commercial use.

Police then searched Lukansinski’s own home in Ryelands Road, Lancaster, where they found some cannabis with a street value of £750.

A block of amphetamine, worth around £3,000, was also discovered.

Waheen Omran-Baber, defending, said Lukansinski had played a limited role in the cannabis operation.

He had not rented the property for the purpose of growing the drug, he said.

The defendant had been in this country for 12 years.

He had worked, setting up websites and lived on savings, but the money dried up.

Mr Omran-Baber added: “He hoped to rent the five bedroom property, do it up and sublet it.

“A man came along and, initially, he didn’t know what the position was with him.

“He subsequently found out and decided to take a risk and got involved in this enterprise.

“Custody has been a very salutary lesson for him.

“He wants to apologise for what he has done.”

Judge, Recorder Andrew Long, told Lukansinski as he passed sentence : “I accept this was not your enterprise and the substantial profits that would be available were not to be yours.

“Nevertheless, it remains very serious.”