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Oswaldtwistle cannabis grower was 'threatened' into producing drug
10:23am Monday 10th September 2012 in News
THE ‘manager’ of a potential £43,000 cannabis farm set up in an Oswaldtwistle house has walked free from court.
Paul Goodman, 37, claimed he had been made to put the skunk operation together under threat because he owed cash to people and couldn't pay his debts. Police found the sophisticated growing system and a total of 75 plants when they went to the property over the report of a burglary, Burnley Crown Court was told.
Goodman, who had owned up saying he wasn't going to otherwise benefit or profit from the growing of the cannabis, did not have a record for drugs offences.
The defendant, of Blackburn Road, Oswaldtwistle, admitted producing cannabis, last June 29. He was given six months in jail, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work.
David Macro, prosecuting, said Goodman pleaded guilty on the basis he had borrowed money at very high rates of interest when he had got into financial difficulties. He had been put under increasing pressure to return the cash, with interest, but was unable to pay. The defendant said he agreed to grow the cannabis to clear his debts after he had been threatened. Goodman claimed he was given money to buy the equipment, put together the cultivation set- up and managed it.
Mr Macro said police acting on a report of a burglary went to the house. Two men were said to have been seen leaving the address through a forced window. Officers found the first floor of the premises was being used for the cannabis production.