Accrington dad is spared jail after allowing home to be used as a cannabis farm (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Accrington dad is spared jail after allowing home to be used as a cannabis farm
A DAD who let his home be used for a sophisticated potential £23,000 cannabis farm when he was depressed and hard-up, has been spared jail.
Burnley Crown Court heard Robert Watkin, was terrified when police turned up and had to break down the door to get into the padlocked room where 61 plants were being cultivated.
He was arrested and told officers his life was over if the people responsible for growing the drugs found out.
The hearing was told after he was released, Watkin had been beaten up, had to have 18 stitches and had continued to be threatened.
A judge said that was “very substantial punishment,” and added: “In the circumstances that prevail in this very unusual case, I can pass a sentence that’s a direct alternative to custody, rather than a custodial sentence.”
The defendant, in his 30s and now a construction worker, admitted allowing premises to be used for the production of cannabis. He was given a community order with 140 hours unpaid work. Watkin had no previous convictions.
Austin Welch, prosecuting, said in November 2011, police went to the Exchange Street area in Accrington, spoke to the defendant and noticed a strong smell of cannabis and a fan behind a door. Officers asked Watkin to open it and it was clear to them he was terrified. Mr Welch said Watkin was arrested and taken to the police station.
James Heyworth, for Watkin, said the offence had been a ‘spectacular fall from grace’ for him.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell told Watkin: “It’s obvious that you must have known what the room was going to be used for, but the extent and sophistication of that business, I accept, would not have been known to you.”