EMERGENCY repairs had to be carried out when police discovered a ‘dangerous’ cannabis farm within an East Lancashire terraced house, a court heard.

Electricity engineers were alerted after it was discovered the supply had been bypassed at the property in Burnley Road, Colne.

Prosecutor David Clarke told Burnley Crown Court that the situation was so perilous that the house had to be disconnected from the network.

“It took a few hours for the house to eventually be made safe,” he said.

More than 100 plants were discovered inside by police, who arrested Albanian-born Alfred Dushaj, who had been minding the crops.

Mr Clarke said plants were discovered in two adjoining cellars, a back room, bedrooms and the attic. Another 57 seedlings were found in a back bedroom.

The court heard the estimated street value of a single crop was £65,000 – though the wholesale value of the cannabis could have been anywhere between £15,000 and £45,000.

Dushaj, formerly of Burnley Road, admitted a charge of producing cannabis and was jailed for 20 months.

Judge Nicholas Barker said that the 35-year-old could also face deportation proceedings at the end of his sentence.

Mr Clarke said that when the defendant was arrested he told officers he had only been in the UK for around two years.

He had been introduced to the cannabis-growing operation by a man who he knew only as ‘Johny’.

He confessed that he had been paid £50 a week to water the plants and was also provided with extra money to cover his groceries.

Daniel Howarth, defending, said this was his client’s first criminal conviction, either in the UK or his native Albania.

“He must now face the immigration services and possible deportation,” he told the court.

Dushaj accepted that this was a possibility and now wished to return to Albania so he could care for his mother, who was sick, Mr Howarth added.

Jailing him, Judge Barker added: “There is no doubt that this was a significant cannabis production. The entirety of the house was given over to the production.

“Furthermore, which is a significant feature, the state of the equipment was such as to produce a risk to others living close to the property.

“The abstraction of electricity was extremely precarious and dangerous and required emergency intervention by the electricity company.”