Great Easton family fined for setting up ‘sophisticated’ cannabis operation at home

Friday, August 29, 2014
9:49 AM

A Great Easton family, who set up a “sophisticated” cannabis cultivation operation at their previous home near Chelmsford, has been fined a total of £1,600.

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Michael Douglas, 62, his wife Anita, 59, and their son also Michael, 31, all of Muscombs Cottages, Great Easton, pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to being involved in the production of 12 cannabis plants on April 18 at Gold Berry Mead, South Woodham Ferrers.

Prosecutor Mark Lakin said police went to the family’s former home at Gold Berry Mead, South Woodham Ferrers, on April 18 this year.

In one of the four bedrooms, officers found eight plants and four more in another bedroom. The rooms were equipped with equipment to grow the drug with heat, light and water.

Richard Conley, mitigating, said the family were habitual cannabis users and there was no question of the drug being sold to anyone else. They also wanted to avoid using drug dealers.

Recorder Ian Baker fined Douglas senior, who admitted producing cannabis and his son £500 each while Mrs Douglas, who admitted producing cannabis and possession of 630mg of Ecstasy, was fined £600.

Previously at Chelmsford Magistrates Court prosecutor Denise Holland said police were tipped off about the growing of cannabis.

She continued: “When officers attended there was a strong smell from the premises and officers said they could smell it down the road.”

In one of the four bedrooms police found 12 plants.

“It was a sophisticated set up of heat, light and water,” she said.

Bedroom windows were sealed, there was a watering system flowing around and a desk with cutting and growing equipment and trimmings.

In another bedroom there were a number of transformers, thermostats and a fabric chamber.

The defendants told police the cannabis was for their own use.

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