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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Jail for man who ran cannabis farm on edge of Carlisle

A joiner has been jailed for two years after admitting running a cannabis farm, on the outskirts of Carlisle, and stealing the electricity to heat it.

Paul Nicholas Carter, 50, pleaded guilty to the two offences at an earlier hearing and appeared at Carlisle Crown Court to be sentenced.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, said that police called at Newhouse Farm, in Orton Road, in September last year and they found 110 cannabis plants which were yet to reach full maturity.

He said the plants were housed in units that Carter leased at the farm and added: “From the police entering they could immediately hear the whirr of fans on the upper floor. The scene that greeted them was a relatively sophisticated operation.”

Mr Burke said that the total yield of the crop would have been more than 7kg.

He said that the wholesale value, not the street value, would have totalled £25,155.

The court heard that the electricity supplier was called out to the property, at a cost of £610, and the total value of the diverted electricity supply was £1,928.

Greg Hoare, defending, said Carter, from Cocklakes Yard in Cockermouth, had been fully co-operative during the investigation.

He added that his client had injured his shoulder and was prescribed fairly strong painkillers.

“They did the job,” he said. “He began to obtain illegal painkillers that put him in contact with the ones that were the main driving forces of this particular operation.

“Because of his position he got into debt with them and because he had the premises he was invited to put the cannabis farm into the loft.”

Mr Hoare said that Carter would have benefited by paying off his debt and receiving further supplies of illegal painkillers.

“He is a hard working individual,” he added.

Judge Paul Batty QC said that the police accepted that Carter was not at the top of the organisation running the cannabis farm but he had never been prepared to name the others involved.

He added: “You were in it for the money and no other reason.”

Carter was sentenced to two years imprisonment for the cultivation of cannabis and also given six month jail term, to run concurrently, for diverting the electricity.

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