Pot growers jailed
TWO men who ran a cannabis factory in Framlingham have been jailed for three years today.Judge John Holt passed the lengthy sentence after deciding the men grew the plants for "substantial profit" rather than for their own personal use.
TWO men who ran a cannabis factory in Framlingham have been jailed for three years today.
Judge John Holt passed the lengthy sentence after deciding the men grew the plants for "substantial profit" rather than for their own personal use.
Mark Humphreys, 37 and Vincent Kidney, 40, both of College Road, Framlingham, pleaded guilty to growing about 1,000 small cannabis cuttings and 1,000 fully grown mature plants ready for harvesting.
Humphreys, a £28,000 a year quantity surveyor and Vincent a £1,000 a week scaffolder, told police they grew the cannabis they hoped would be of high quality for their own consumption.
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Judge Holt heard that each harvest could yield some 17 kilograms of cannabis which far exceeded the highest user's personal use and there was likely to be two harvests a year.
He heard that the mature plants were of high quality with about eight per cent THC in each plant. He also heard that the men had invested £20,000 in hydroponics equipment to grow the plants and had rented the factory unit on an industrial estate for three years at a cost of £15,000.
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Judge Holt said: "With electricity and rent you're total investment would be around £40,000. The amount of cannabis you grew and the fact that it was of a high and consistent quality and would be of considerable value leads me to believe this cannabis was grown for commercial supply."
Ipswich Crown Court heard that Humphreys, an intelligent single man who cares for his elderly parents was sent to prison for almost three years back in 1986 for dishonesty.
Kidney, also single, and who had an "excellent work record" had a distant previous record for two minor dishonesty offences.
The court heard that the law on cannabis was expected to change in the next year when it is likely to be classified to a class C drug the same as steroids.
Judge Holt said however: "This is serious criminal behaviour and I have no doubt that it was grown for substantial profits."
The men were told they would serve half the sentence in prison and half on licence in the community.