Back bedroom of Nelson house turned into cannabis farm

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Two people who turned their back bedroom into a cannabis farm at their Nelson home have walked free from court.

Jacqueline Yorke and Kevin Laird (both 45), had 14 skunk plants, assisted by a sophisticated system of lighting, ventilation, fans and reflective material in a spare room at their property in Sansbury Crescent, Burnley Crown Court heard.

They were arrested and questioned and Yorke, who burst into tears when officers turned up to raid the house, claimed she had arthritis in her hip and found the drug helped.

The pair had both admitted producing cannabis between October and December last year. They will not face a proceeds of crime hearing. Laird was given six months in jail, suspended for 18 months and 120 hours unpaid work.

His co-defendant received four months custody, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours work. Both must pay £200 costs.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said, last December 21st, police went to the defendants’ home. They were allowed in and when officers said they were looking for cannabis, Yorke started to cry and told them there were plants in the back bedroom.

Police went upstairs, Laird came out of a double room and he too indicated there were plants in the spare bedroom.

Miss Statham said officers discovered 14 plants in all. A forensic scientist could not estimate how much the yield would be.

Both defendants were arrested and interviewed and both made full admissions. They said they had been equally responsible for watering the crop and turning on the lighting, claiming they intended to use the drug for themselves, as they used a fair amount each day.

The prosecutor said Yorke told police she had arthritis. The defendants denied any commercial element and said it was the first time they had tried to grow cannabis. They claimed they had done it from saplings which they had obtained from a third party. Both said they were sorry and had no intention of doing it again.