Cannabis factory man jailed

PUBLISHED: 18:07 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

A SMOKE alarm sounding and a leaking pipe led to the discovery of a cannabis factory. Police and firefighters were called to the house in Greenfields, Shillington after 10pm on December 8 last year, Luton Crown Court heard today (Friday). Prosecutor Bill

A SMOKE alarm sounding and a leaking pipe led to the discovery of a cannabis factory.

Police and firefighters were called to the house in Greenfields, Shillington after 10pm on December 8 last year, Luton Crown Court heard today (Friday).

Prosecutor Bill McGivern said that inside they found 187 immature cannabis plants and another 16 in an outbuilding.

There were fans and heating equipment. The loft and the walls were insulated and the electricity supply had been bypassed to avoid the meter. The damage to the property caused by alterations to grow the cannabis was £5,000.

Mr McGivern said the street value of the crop seized was between £2,500 and £4,300.

From documents found at the house police identified Anthony Hinksman as the tenant paying £750 a month rent. He was arrested at his father's home in February.

Hinksman, 27, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, supplying cannabis, abstracting electricity and criminal damage.

In a police interview Hinksman said he had developed a £20 a day cocaine habit. He said he had built up a £250 debt to a dealer and was asked to deliver a package to clear what he owned.

But he said the wrong person received the package and his debt increased to £25,000. To clear that debt he said he agreed to set up the cannabis factory in Shillington.

David Noble, defending, said Hinksman, of Stanford Road, Luton had entered into a partnership with a person he was not prepared to name. He admitted he was the "manager" of the factory. He asked for credit for his guilty plea.

Judge Barbara Mensah jailed him for three years, saying: "Cannabis is a drug which destroys families and communities and leads to addiction. Those who supply drugs simply add to the misery.

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