July 19, 2021 3.36 pm This story is over 34 months old

Burglary reports lead police to Lincolnshire cannabis farm

171 plants were found during the police investigation

Police officers called out in the early hours of the morning to reports of a house burglary discovered a cannabis farm capable of producing more than £100,000 worth of the drug, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Mon).

When officers arrived at the property in Spring Gardens, Gainsborough they smelled cannabis and heard the sound of electric fans operating inside.

Andrew Fitch-Holland, prosecuting, said: “At two o’clock in the morning police were alerted to what was believed to be a burglary.

“Police went round to investigate and one of the attending officers smelled cannabis. It was also possible to hear the sound of electric fans coming from within the property.

“The police could also hear that someone was inside. The front door was unlocked and a male ran out. He was stopped and arrested.”

Fabio Balliu, the man who was arrested, told officers he was Albanian and his knowledge of English was not good.

A sofa bed together with a fridge freezer, microwave and toaster were found in the downstairs living room but no food was found in the property.

Mr Fitch-Holland said: “It is unlikely anyone was residing there.”

A total of 171 cannabis plants were found spread amongst three rooms.

Mr Fitch-Holland said the yield from the cannabis plants could be worth as much as £102,000 if sold in one ounce deals.

Balliu, 23, of Main Street, Huthwaite, Notts, admitted a charge of unlawful production of cannabis on May 21 this year.

Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight adjourned sentence for a further hearing to establish what role Balliu played in the cannabis growing operation.

Emma Coverley, for Balliu, said that her client was simply a gardener looking after the plants.

But the prosecutor said that the scale of the cannabis production indicated that Balliu had a greater involvement.

Balliu was remanded in custody to reappear in court next month.