Man jailed for Lincolnshire cannabis farms worth £40k

A man who set up “sophisticated” cannabis growing operations in two properties he rented has been jailed for 18 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Paul Owen was arrested after police raided the premises in the Boston and Sleaford area and found the cannabis plants.

A total of 29 plants were found at Stickney and at Sleaford officers found 16 plants plus 53 cuttings.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, said that officers initially went to a property in Horbling Lane, Stickney, where a search revealed cannabis being grown in an outbuilding.

Mr Philo said: “It was quite a sophisticated cannabis farm. There were 29 cannabis plants.

“On the same day officers attended premises near Sleaford where there were a number of growing plants and a very large number of growing cuttings.

“The electricity supply had been bypassed at both premises.

“He was in the process of moving from one place to the other so that the operation could go on.

“He was significantly involved. It was his own enterprise and clearly it was for commercial use.”

Mr Philo said that the plants would have produced cannabis which would sell for at least £40,000. In addition £3,400 worth of electricity was obtained by bypassing the meters.

Owen, 48, of Pickering Crescent, Swallownest, South Yorkshire, admitted two charges of producing cannabis at Horbling Lane, Stickney and at Drove Lodge, Sleaford, on February 19, 2015. He also admitted two charges of unlawfully abstracting electricity.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told him “it has to be immediate custody.”

Jonathon Dee, defending, said that Owen initially set out to grow cannabis for his own use but the crop produced more than anticipated.

Mr Dee said “It was a one-man operation. He is a man with some difficulties and that led him into this.”

He said that Owen began using cannabis as a relief for arthritis but also suffers from a number of other physical and mental health problems.