Jail for Burnley man who grew cannabis worth £41,000

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A “NAIVE” man, said to have been persuaded to set up two cannabis factories, growing drugs with a potential street value of more than £41,000, has been jailed.

Burnley Crown Court was told Carl Watson (38) had been found growing 166 plants, which could have been worth £28,000, at a house in Piccadilly Road, last October. He also had 730 small bottles of the drug GHB, worth up to £1,000.

Watson was arrested and bailed, but carried on gardening. Months later he walked into a police station and admitted cultivating 105 cannabis plants at a house in Sefton Terrace. The drugs might have been worth £13,600, had the plants been harvested.

He was jailed for two years and now faces a proceeds of crime hearing. He had admitted two counts of producing cannabis and one of possessing GHB with intent to supply.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said that, had all the plants discovered in the first police been successfully cultivated, they would have yielded 2.8kg of cannabis.

At the second house, the home of a relative of the defendant, officers discovered 105 cannabis plants, of which only 34 were mature. It was estimated 1.36kg of cannabis could have been produced.

Mr Richard Taylor (defending) said the defendant was of low intelligence but had used his time on remand in custody to his benefit.

He had been studying English, was proud he had accepted his difficulties and was getting significant help. Watson did not really have a fixed address and had moved from one house to another over the past few years.

His family was in court to support him.

Mr Taylor added Watson, who was naive, had been persuaded to grow the cannabis and, after the GHB was seized, he was assaulted. He was then persuaded to commit the next offence while on bail.