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  1. hi Four jailed over Southampton Riverside Park failed cannabis raid bbc News Four members of a drugs gang have been jailed for their part in a failed raid on a cannabis factory, after which a man was found dead in a river. Police were called following reports of gun fire in River Walk, Southampton early on 5 September 2019. Sol Hemy, 20 was later found drowned in the nearby River Itchen. The four previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of a firearm with intent. It is thought the raid was detected and two cars arrived quickly before a stand off began with shouting and shots fired. Southampton Crown Court heard the raiders found the gun inside the cannabis factory and had decided to use it to defend themselves. Police later found a cannabis factory set up in a residential property with more than 100 cannabis plants with a wholesale value of more than £25,000. A large amount of cannabis was also found abandoned in waste bags outside in the street. • Robert Johnston, 25 of Tennyson Avenue, Southampton was jailed for five years and four months. • Fardeen Hamidy, 26, of Bursledon Road, Southampton received a sentence of eight years and eight months. • Christy Flaherty, 27, of Malmesbury Road, Southampton was jailed for eight years. • Ken Mulangala, 18, of East Street, Barking, Essex received a three-year sentence. The court heard it is still not known how Mr Hemy met his death and the police investigation is continuing. Passing sentence, Judge Henry said it had been an "audacious" plan to steal from a rival drugs gang. "What is clear the defendants were prepared to use extreme and dangerous methods not only to evade …. but also to continue to take the spoils of the operation with them. "The sad death of this young man is evidence of the level of violence of high stakes gang warfare being played out that night on a residential street in Southampton." Det Insp Andy Symes said the raid had been "terrifying" for neighbouring residents. "This group of young men decided they would try and steal a large amount of cannabis, for their own gain, on a residential street, without any regard for the rest of the community and how their actions would affect others." https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-55060405 Bongme
  2. hi Kate Moss’s Primark model pal jailed for FIVE YEARS after being caught with £30 of cannabis in Bali A BRIT Primark model and pal of Kate Moss has been jailed for five years after being caught with £30 worth of cannabis in hardline Bali. Jed Texas, 30, was sentenced by judges on the notoriously tough Indonesian island and will serve his time at the hellhole Kerobokan Prison. He was arrested in an April raid on his villa in trendy Canggu where police found nine small plastic bags containing 85.15 grams of marijuana as well as a set of electronic scales. Texas, who admitted his guilt, told Denpasar District Court, via video link from the jail, that his actions have left him in pain and shrouded with shame. He plans to appeal his conviction for possession of a type two narcotic. Police claim that during the raid, which was triggered by a public tip-off, Texas fled from his bedroom into his bathroom and attempted to flush the nine bags of dope down the toilet. Texas - real name Jed Higgins - told the court that he treats his anxiety and mental illness by smoking weed and was drug dependent – a situation that Indonesia’s laws often consider to be a mitigating factor when meting out sentencing. “I couldn’t go home (during the pandemic) so I bought a lot of marijuana to relieve my anxiety,” he said. The former model has also been slapped with a £60,000 fine. If he does not pay it, he will face a further six months behind bars. “Texas is guilty of committing a criminal act by possessing narcotics type one. I sentence Jed Texas to five years in prison, reduced for his time in detention (seven months),” said chief judge Gede Putra Astawa. Texas had been facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail. “The defendant’s actions have damaged the image of Bali as a tourist destination,” Judge Astawa said. Texas recently admitted that he used marijuana in Bali. “I admit that my using marijuana in Indonesia is against the law. I am very sorry. I knew it was illegal, but I didn’t think the sentence would be so high like this. I use it to treat psychological disorders,” Texas told the court. “Marijuana is legal in the UK so my access to it is easy (there). This case has left me with constant pain and shame. "My family was affected too. I never thought at all about breaking the law when I vacationed in Bali." The Islington-born model worked for designers Burberry and Prada before moving to Melbourne in 2015. He starred in Primark's 2012 autumn/winter campaign, has appeared on catwalks in Milan and Paris, and was nominated for Glamour Infusion’s Best Magazine cover in 2016. He left Australia for Bali just as the coronavirus pandemic was sweeping the globe in March. For Texas, Kerobokan – or Hotel K as it is locally known — is a long way from his modelling jaunts to New York, Milan and Paris, where he strutted the runways and partied with legendary model Kate Moss. Pictures from inside its grimy walls show dozens of men living in one room and forced to sleep on the floor of their cell. It currently holds Brit grandma Lindsay Sandiford, who in January 2013 was sentenced to death after being caught smuggling cocaine into Bali. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13283660/model-jailed-for-five-years-cannabis-bali/ Vid On Link 60 Comments Bongme
  3. hi Roads ban for Corsa driver caught over drug limit VAUXHALL driver was more than twice over the cannabis driving limit. Jodi Knapp, 26, of Fishponds, Bristol, was stopped behind the wheel of a 66-plate Corsa in Drakes Way on January 16 in connection with an alleged traffic violation. But prosecutor Emma Charleton told Swindon Magistrates’ Court that police officers decided to test her for cannabis after catching a scent of the class B drug. Tests showed she had the equivalent of 5.3mcgs of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, in a litre of blood. The legal limit is 2mcgs. Also found in the car was a spliff and a small bag containing 8g of cannabis. Knapp pleaded guilty to drug driving and possession of a class B drug. She told the magistrates she had spoken to her bosses about the court appearance and they were aware she could lose her licence. She had written a letter to magistrates that duty solicitor Liz Highams described as “very helpful”. Knapp had no previous convictions. Chairman of the bench Jane Flew said: “Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs you now realise is something that is taken as seriously as drink driving.” She was fined £425, banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £42 victim surcharge. https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/18896214.roads-ban-corsa-driver-caught-drug-limit/ Bongme
  4. hi Stoned drug dealer caught driving Audi argued cannabis 'just a plant' He said cannabis should be legalised and he only pleaded guilty because he "had no choice" A stoned drug dealer caught behind the wheel of an Audi was today told to address his "warped" views about cannabis. Christopher Power-Sutton was high when police pulled his car over and asked him if he had anything that he shouldn't. He seemed nervous, smelt of cannabis and replied: "Yep, I'll be honest, there's a fair bit in my car. I've been selling to my mates." Officers found 10 bags and a tub full of cannabis stashed inside a rucksack, along with £395 in cash and two mobile phones. The 30-year-old, who lives with his mum in Lindale Close, Moreton, was then taken to her property for the home to be searched. He showed officers a sports bag in a conservatory containing more cannabis in eighth, quarter and half an ounce packages. Power-Sutton admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply and his case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report. But he told a probation officer he thought cannabis should be legalised and only pleaded guilty because he "had no choice". Liverpool Crown Court heard officers stopped Power-Sutton for a "routine document check" on Arrowe Park Road in Upton at around 8.30pm, on January 17 this year. Sarah Holt, prosecuting, said officers recovered 235.7g of cannabis in total, with an estimated street value of up to £3,532, plus around 57g - £570 - of cannabis resin from the car and house. Ms Holt said ordinarily Power-Sutton would have faced a separate charge for the cannabis resin, but had not in this case. Judge Gary Woodhall said it was the second time he had encountered this issue in a week, adding: "I'm not sure why the prosecution aren't charging this properly." Power-Sutton admitted driving while under the influence of drugs before magistrates in September, when he was fined £300 and banned from driving for three years. He has 11 previous convictions for 17 offences, including being drunk and disorderly, assaulting police and shoplifting in 2009; shoplifting, theft and failing to comply with a community order in 2010; driving offences in 2011; and possessing cannabis in 2013. Referring to the pre-sentence report, Judge Woodhall said Power-Sutton "doesn't do himself any favours". Paul Wood, defending, said: "No he doesn't and he makes my submissions more difficult, and he knows that." The lawyer confirmed Power-Sutton no longer stood by these claims and admitted the prosecution case in full. He said his client had a "serious cannabis addiction", adding: "The defendant instructs me he does accept he needs to reduce his cannabis intake and from the £100 a week he's previously been consuming, he's reduced that to about £60 a week." Mr Wood said Power-Sutton had been a window fitter "on and off" for 10 years, which had been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but "green shoots are starting to come through" and he is now getting more work. He said the defendant, who had "a very difficult childhood", was assessed by the Probation Service as a low risk of re-offending and a low risk of harm. Mr Wood urged the judge to spare him jail and said while his compliance with past court orders had been poor and he had previous convictions, they were "some time ago". He said: "The responses in the pre-sentence report, with the greatest respect to the defendant, are not the hallmarks of somebody who is particularly mature." Judge Woodhall said he took into account the comments made by Power-Sutton in the report. He said: "It's right to note, and it does you no favours when you're standing before the court looking down the barrel of a custodial sentence, that you maintained that cannabis should be legalised because it is a plant, that the cash was legitimate income, and that you only pleaded guilty because you had no choice, because the cannabis was for your personal use." udge Woodhall said all of these assertions were now abandoned, but said: "The fact is you continue to express views regarding legalisation of cannabis, which gives the court cause to pause and think about what your motives will be regarding cannabis use moving forward." The judge said Power-Sutton, who lived with his mum, had debts from acquiring a car and suffered "trauma" as a child. He said he took into account the fact he had been out of trouble for seven years and the delay in the case coming to court. Judge Woodhall said he believed the public would be better protected if work was carried out with Power-Sutton in the community to rehabilitate him, "steer him away" from drugs and address his "warped" views on cannabis. He handed him 14 months in prison, suspended for 20 months, plus a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and six-month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement. https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/stoned-drug-dealer-caught-driving-19337690 Bongme
  5. hi Portskewett drug dealer turned to crime to settle car debt A DRUG dealer started selling cannabis after running up a large debt when he crashed in a car he had bought on finance. Joshua Maybourne, 23, of Sudbrook Road, Portskewett, near Caldicot, was caught after being stopped in a BMW at the start of the year. • Sign up to our Crime and Court newsletter to get all the day’s news direct to your inbox Jenny Yeo, prosecuting, said the defendant was pulled over on the A48 on February 2 and gave a positive test for drug-driving. She told Cardiff Crown Court: “There were three other occupants in the car. “The defendant had 12g of cannabis worth £130, £240 in cash and a mobile phone with drug-related messages. “Some were about the agreeing bank transfers and one was from someone called Adam who wanted to meet at Tesco to buy £120 of cannabis. “The defendant was selling cannabis for financial gain. “When he was interviewed by the police he told them he was dealing small amounts to friends and their friends to help with money problems he was having.” Maybourne pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply. He had no previous convictions for any drug matters. Richard Ace, mitigating, said: “The defendant had a car accident at the beginning of the year. “It was bought on finance and it left him with a significant debt. “He got a job as a delivery driver but he unfortunately lost that job as a result of this incident. “The defendant got off his backside and got another job.” The court heard he now works as a mechanic. Mr Ace added: “It has put him on the straight and narrow. He works long hours, he contributes to the tax system and he is no longer using cannabis.” The judge, Recorder Dyfed Thomas, told Maybourne: “You have no relevant previous convictions, you seem remorseful and you are very highly thought of by your employer.” He jailed him for eight months, suspended for 12 months. Maybourne was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £420 costs and a £149 surcharge. https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/18896058.portskewett-drug-dealer-turned-crime-settle-car-debt/ Bongme
  6. hi Inside Britain’s biggest legal cannabis farm and why business is booming for medicinal marijuana The UK is the world’s largest producer of legal cannabis. It’s big business — but is it the miracle crop it is claimed to be? The luscious green plants stretch as far as the eye can see. Row after row, lovingly tended in a glasshouse that’s roughly the same size as 34 football pitches. Thought to be one of the UK’s largest glasshouses, the 45-acre glasshouse in Wissington, Norfolk, sits in an area known for the growing of crops, vegetables and fruit, from peas and beans to tomatoes and strawberries. But this crop is slightly different. Once filled with tomato plants, the glasshouse owned by British Sugar is now home to hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants grown for the pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceutical. Carefully cultivated at GW’s research facility in Kent, the plants are reared on an industrial scale in Wissington with high levels of cannabidiol – or CBD – and very little THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive element commonly associated with marijuana. It makes them perfect for approved and regulated epilepsy drugs. Identical plants Look closely and you may think every plant looks the same – their height, the density of leaves and flowers. It’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. To ensure they produce the right qualities for the medicines they help make, these plants are grown in a way that ensures they are all virtually identical. Cuttings taken from “parent” plants identified for their high CBD content are planted into pots and carefully tended in the glasshouse with the perfect amount of water, light and fertiliser to guarantee high yields before they are harvested and processed. “It’s not quite a Del Monte moment but we know when the plants are ready,” says GW’s chief operating officer, Chris Tovey. “It looks amazing and the aromas are amazing. Not every cannabis plant smells the same, so a crop here smells distinctly different to a hemp crop or a crop expressing a different profile of cannabidiol.” The scale of the facility reflects the size of the global cannabis industry and its rapid growth to cater for a rising demand in cannabis-based medicines as well as a consumer-focused CBD market. Britain’s cannabis farms In 2018 a United Nations report revealed that Britain was the world’s largest producer of legal cannabis, producing 95 tons of marijuana in 2016 for medicinal and scientific use – 44.9 per cent of the world’s total. It was also the largest exporter of the drug, exporting 70 per cent of the world’s total. As well as Wissington and its research facility at Kent Science Park, GW has other sites across the UK and it isn’t the only large producer. Other companies include Sativa Investments, whose own headquarters is in Somerset. In 2019 it announced it was planning a £10m, 7.5-acre greenhouse in rural Wiltshire. Elsewhere in Europe, companies have invested in cannabis farms and processing facilities in countries including Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Germany. The growth in cannabis farms is a direct response to a swelling market for cannabis products. The emergence of approved and regulated drugs to treat conditions such as epilepsy, along with a gradual relaxing of legislation around both medicinal use – including in the UK in November 2018 – and recreational use in various countries around the world, has contributed to a growing demand for high quality, carefully grown cannabis plants. They that are significantly different from their distant relatives such as hemp or high-THC plants. The cannabis business It is big business. London-based analysts Prohibition Partners estimated that the European cannabis market will be worth £106bn by 2028, while according to the publication Health Europa, the global medical cannabis market was worth $13.4bn (£10bn) in 2018 and is projected to grow to $148bn by 2026. Many of the major players investing in facilities in Europe are US and Canadian companies. They include Canadian giant Aurora Cannabis and its Danish subsidiary, Aurora Nordic, as well as Cronos Group, a Canadian producer and distributor of medical cannabis that also operates in Germany, Israel, and Australia. Canopy Growth is also Canada-based but has operations in eight countries across five continents. With more than 20 years in the sector, GW puts itself among some of the more experienced players. “When GW moved to Kent Science Park site over 20 years ago the first building was the research glasshouse,” says Tovey. “A handful of people learned how to grow cannabis and learned how to grow it consistently.” That handful of people has grown into a huge operation, with around 400 people based at the facility now – a mixture of welly-wearing horticulturists who get their hands dirty and white-coat-wearing technical teams that analyse the plants to ensure they have the right genetic make-up for the task at hand. Nurturing the crop It all sounds very hi-tech, but the way the plants are controlled isn’t that different from growing roses to ensure you have the best blooms possible, says Tovey. “All of the plants we use are a result of really old-fashioned Mendelian techniques,” he says. He is referring to Gregor Mendel’s discovery of the principles of inheritance and genetic traits through experiments with pea plants. “You grow the plants and look at different phenotypes and select the ones with the right composition. You then have a number of plants that form the ‘parents’ for every subsequent generation.” Those parents are then used to create “clones” grown on an industrial scale in the glasshouse at Wissington. Cuttings taken from them and put into small pots are bathed in light to accelerate the growing process then moved into the main glasshouse and provided with all the water and nutrients they need. The cycle of growth After a few weeks in natural light, it’s time for the exciting part. “The whole of the glasshouse ceiling has blinds that can be pulled across to create near-total darkness,” says Tovey. “These plants are pre-attuned to daylight length so what we effectively do is create a long night so the cannabis plant thinks it should flower.” Once that has worked, the flowers – the part of the plants with the high CBD content that’s so valuable – are ready to be harvested. At that point a small army of 30 to 40 seasonal workers join the team of horticulturists and managers at Wissington to help harvest the plants. The stems are cut and they are allowed to dry naturally before being processed and put through a machine that strips the flowers, removes the stems and leaves and prepares them to be dried and formed into pellets ready to be shipped away. And then it starts all over again. With three crops a year, that means one cycle needs to be started before the next is finished, ensuring the highest yield. The wellness market Tovey is keen to point out the difference between these plants and other relatives within the same plant family with different properties and uses. Like any plant, the Cannabis Sativa L plant has a range of species, some higher in CBD and others – often grown illegally – bred for high levels of THC. While CBD is being manufactured into regulated medicines by some companies such as GW, in lower doses it has also cornered an area of the wellness market. From oils, pills and vapes to gummies, shots, dog treats and even gym wear, the products are generally affordable and are available on the high street or online. They are claimed to have benefits ranging from pain relief to help with stress or anxiety. Earlier this year, Savills estimated that the UK CBD market was worth £300m and is expected to more than triple in the next five years – taking it to a potential £1bn market by 2025. Cannabis farms A new 11,000 sq metre cannabis farm is due to open in Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway in March 2021. Its owners, Hilltop Leaf Ltd, say it aims to supply oils and medicinal products to the UK and Europe. It will be the first legal cannabis farm in Scotland. Somerset-based Sativa Investments, which sells CBD products for the wellness markets, is planning a 300 sq ft cannabis greenhouse in rural Wiltshire. The farm would be used to grow cannabis higher in THC for use in medicinal products. It is estimated it will consume equivalent power to a town the size of Frome. Cannabis producer Bridge Farm was bought by a US-based equity fund in a £66m deal earlier this year. The firm has a two million sq ft glasshouse in Spalding, Lincolnshire, where it grows hemp for CBD oil and higher-THC plants for medicines. Indoor-grown marijuana is among the most energy-hungry plants to farm. A US study in 2016 revealed it accounted for 1 per cent of all US energy use. Medicinal cannabis These consumer products are subject to less regulation that their medical cousins – something Tovey is also keen to stress. “Our medicines have to go through exactly the same process as an oncology drug, a haematology drug or an antibiotic. They’ve gone through that full experimental, evidence, testing, assessment process,” he says. As well as being different from the plants grown for the wellness market, they’re also worlds apart from those in unregulated farms. These include those found in places such as China and Eastern Europe, growing cannabis for the illegal market, or homemade “farms” set up in abandoned houses or lofts across the UK. Last month police discovered a large, sophisticated illegal cannabis farm in a former nightclub in Coventry, whose crop had a street value of £1m. It’s a difference that the British entrepreneur Maximilian White – who is planning his own cannabis farm in Portugal – also points out. “People have to understand the difference between cosmetic CBD and medical CBD,” he says. The world’s largest cannabis farm It’s the latter that White plans to grow on a 100-hectare farm in Portugal that he predicts will be the largest cannabis farm in the world. The project, which is four years in the making, has had him enlist the help of Portuguese universities and medical experts to create a site that he says has the perfect growing conditions for these profitable plants. With the promise of hefty financial returns, it’s unsurprising that someone in his position would invest in this sector. “It’s obviously a very, very good entity to get involved in,” he says. But he admits that part of the draw is the added bonus of being part of an industry hailed by many as holding the key to curing a range of ailments. Cannabis critics Critics remain sceptical of the efficacy and safety of CBD. David Raynes, spokesman for the National Drug Prevention Alliance, points to research by Dr Albert Stuart Reece, professor of medicine at the University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University in Perth, that raises concerns over potential links between cannabis and conditions including autism and birth defects. “The people who are pushing medical cannabis are treating it as a religion rather than in scientific terms,” he says. “Is it useful? Yes. There’s some drugs approved for certain types of childhood epilepsy and various other things. But does it cure everything? No. Because there’s all these other effects.” Some argue that cannabis farming also comes with a toll on the environment. While outdoor growing, which uses natural sunlight and rainwater, is viewed as less harmful, large indoor production facilities come with heavy power and water consumption. In figures released in 2018, analysts New Frontier Data estimated that legal cannabis cultivation in the US consumed 1.1 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually – enough to power 92,500 homes for a year – and forecast that to increase 162 per cent from 2017 to 2022. Cannabis farm investment For some, it’s a price worth paying to cultivate a crop that could have healing benefits as well as financial reward. But Raynes questions whether the large investment in cannabis farming will yield the fortunes some are predicting. “There’s fortunes being lost in the medical cannabis world,” he says. “There’s fortunes being speculated on it and it probably isn’t going to be as big as they think. There’s a lot of money being thrown at it, but it’s hope money. It’s wish money.” If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s the importance of regulation when it comes to managing this exploding industry. “Undoubtedly the cannabis plant and the chemicals in it is the most amazing opportunity to create new medicines,” adds Tovey. Unfortunately that is complicated within an amazing new category that’s sprouted in the last few years and further complicated by recreational cannabis. There are different categories and they need to be regulated in different ways.” But whatever direction the regulation of the cannabis industry takes, one thing is clear – the great glasshouse at Wissington is likely to have plenty more Del Monte moments. https://inews.co.uk/news/long-reads/inside-britain-biggest-legal-cannabis-farm-explained-medicinal-marijuana-769414 Bongme
  7. hi Cannabis plants found in roof after devastating fire rips through Stoke-on-Trent house The blaze has been blamed on 'faulty electrics' Cannabis plants have been found in the roof of a house badly damaged in a blaze. Staffordshire Police have started an investigation following the discovery of the cannabis plants at the fire-hit property on Goldenhill Road, in Fenton. Some of the plants can be seen from the roadside after the fire exposed the rafters. The alarm was raised just before 5am on Monday, November 23. The blaze has been blamed on 'faulty electrics'. A police spokesman said: "We were called to a house fire on Goldenhill Road by colleagues at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. "Officers confirmed that cannabis had been found growing inside. The fire has since been extinguished by fire crews. An investigation is underway." Part of Goldenhill Road remained cordoned off yesterday afternoon. Fire crews from Hanley and Longton attended the blaze. A fire service spokesman said: "Firefighters used hose-reel jets and breathing apparatus to extinguish the blaze which had taken hold in the roof space of a mid-terrace property. Dampening down and ventilation took place ahead of a fire investigation. "At this time, the fire is deemed to have been caused by faulty electrics. No-one was hurt and the scene has been left in the hands of Staffordshire Police." https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/cannabis-plants-found-roof-after-4729383 Bongme
  8. hi Car that reeked of cannabis pulled over after being driven 'erratically' Officers seized the car and one man was arrested A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drug driving after police spotted a car being driven erratically. At around 11.25am yesterday, officers spotted a blue Ford C-Max driving erratically on Walton Road in the Walton area. Police said they searched the car due to a strong smell of cannabis, and cannabis was found within the vehicle. The driver was detained and provided a roadside drug test. A 22-year-old man from Toxteth was arrested on suspicion of driving a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs, driving whilst disqualified and possession of cannabis. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries. Police also seized the car. Liverpool Targeted Team Sergeant Phil Burrell said to the ECHO: "This arrest shows the swift and effective action we will continue to take when we suspect anyone causing risks on the road. “If you have any concerns or become aware of anyone you suspect is driving illegally, do the right thing and we will remove them and their vehicle." https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/car-reeked-cannabis-pulled-over-19334588 Bongme
  9. hi Cannabis farm discovered at woman's home after she called 999 Sarah Thomas, 32, was found with 12 cannabis plants locked in a bedroom at her Cardiff home. She was spared jailed as she was acting 'at the behest of someone' she was scared of Police discovered a cannabis farm at a woman's home after she called 999 to report a domestic incident. Officers attended Sarah Thomas' home in Cardiff on May 26 last year after receiving a call complaining about an incident involving a man. When they arrived at the house in Crossways Road, Ely, they found a bedroom door which had been locked from the outside. They asked Thomas, 32, what was behind the door and she said there was cannabis. A search of the room resulted in 12 large cannabis plants being discovered inside a large black tent surrounded by headlamps and large extension leads. An electrical engineer was called to the property and confirmed the electricity meter had been bypassed. Thomas was arrested and initially gave no comment but the defendant, now of Heol Carnau, Caerau, later pleaded guilty to permitting premises to be used for cannabis production and dishonestly using electricity without authority. A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard Thomas had a number of ex-partners who had taken advantage of her which had led to her offending. She is now in contact with Women's Aid who are assisting her. Sentencing, Record Patrick Upward QC said: "It's well-recognised people who involve themselves in growing cannabis plants can expect serious punishment but your case is unusual. "I accept you're not doing it as the prime mover but at the behest of someone you were frightened of. You have suffered considerably and I'm not going to send you to prison." Thomas was sentenced to a 12-month community order and was ordered to undertake a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/cannabis-farm-discovered-womans-home-19311653 Bongme
  10. hi Spy in the sky! Police thermal imaging drone uncovers huge Birmingham cannabis factory At the same time, the airborne camera also picked up a stolen car leading to the arrests of four people for burglary. A police drone deployed to help hunt for car thieves ended up pinpointing a huge Birmingham cannabis factory. The discovery was made by officers after the drone was used to search for suspects thought to be behind the theft of a car. After officers discovered the stolen vehicle, the kit was deployed to provide live aerial footage, helping to track down a man who was subsequently arrested. At the same time the drone's thermal imaging picked up a heat source and officers found a large cannabis set-up across four rooms. The discovery comes in the same week West Midlands Police launched their latest drone - the new DJI Matrice 300. The force now has a total of eight aircrafts with the latest high tech gadget - able to stay in the air for up to 55 minutes and also waterproof, enabling it to be used during bad weather. Drones are 'an asset' to the force and are now used 24/7 to help find vulnerable or missing people, track suspects, capture evidence at crime scenes and provide live aerial footage at events such as protests. They are also playing a big part in the security planning for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. This year alone they have been deployed to more than 2,000 incidents. The drones have also been instrumental in clamping down on Covid rule-breakers. Back in August, West Midlands Police used a drone to help to clear a 200-strong group of "selfish" people holding an illegal rave in Birmingham city centre. The event was being held on Hampton Street close to the St Chad's Cathedral and Snow Hill side of the city centre. https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/spy-sky-police-thermal-imaging-19322935 Bongme
  11. hi House with damaged door found to contain huge cannabis farm after police called Neighbours were woken by sounds of loud banging and officers shouting A huge cannabis farm containing more than 400 plants was discovered in a house after police were called to reports the door had been damaged. Officers arrived in Markfield Road, Bootle, at around 7.25am on Thursday, November 19. When they entered the property, 446 cannabis plants in total were found, along with growing equipment. Neighbours reported being woken up by loud banging and officers shouting. A large police presence remained at the scene all day, while a mobile police station was set up outside. One woman said: "There has been police guarding a house down my road since the early hours this morning. "There is a massive hole in the front door of the house and there is also a mobile police station outside now." An investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to get in touch with police. Matt Brown from the Cannabis Dismantling Team said: "An investigation is underway after a cannabis farm was seized in Bootle last week and I would urge anyone with information to please contact us. "Cannabis cultivation by criminal gangs can bring with it serious harm, and criminal groups involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in other serious organised crime. "They often use residential houses such as this, in the heart of our communities, however our communities can help us stop these groups from turning houses into potential death traps. "Nobody wants to live or work next door to these places and we would ask that if you believe someone is using a property for this purpose, please tell us so we can take positive action and find those responsible for setting them up." Bongme
  12. i Tampered electrics and 'sophisticated' watering system inside Hull cannabis factory Police found 44 cannabis plants inside a property in Pavilion Crescent A teenager has been arrested after police shut down another cannabis factory in a Hull home. Humberside Police carried out a warrant at an address in Pavilion Crescent, west Hull, finding 44 cannabis plants inside. Officers also found the electrics in the property had been tampered with and a sophisticated heating and watering system had been installed. An 18-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of the production of cannabis. Both have been released as enquiries continue. Neighbourhood beat manager Tim McGowan, of Humberside Police, said: “Cannabis grows in residential properties can pose a serious fire risk to neighbouring properties, as the electricity supply is tampered with to bypass the meter.” “We know from speaking to people in this area that tackling issues like this and wider drug related crime is important to you. “I hope that the action taken here will demonstrate that we are listening and that we’re committed to showing criminals their activities will not be tolerated.” https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/sophisticated-inside-hull-cannabis-factory-4728435 Bongme
  13. hi Police raid suspected Blackburn cannabis den at former snooker club There has been a heavy police presence in Blackburn this morning (November 23) after officers raided a suspected drug den in the town centre. Officers from Lancashire Constabulary descended upon the former VIP Snooker lounge on the corner of Mill Lane and Mincing Lane, close to Blackburn railway station. Pictures from the scene of showed at least two police vans and two standard police cars parked up down Mill Lane, with officers stood at the entrance to the once popular snooker lounge. A spokesperson from Lancashire Police confirmed to LancsLive that concerns over a suspected drug den was reported to them at around 9am, adding that there "appears to be a cannabis set up inside the address". Enquiries into the investigation are continuing. The snooker hall closed its doors in October 2018, with it also operating as XS Nightclub for a period of time. It was sold for a grand total of £139,000, with plans lodged in 2019 to transform the venue into a shisha bar while retaining the snooker tables that made the venue popular in its heyday. https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/police-raid-suspected-blackburn-cannabis-19328933 Bongme
  14. hi Highland man's drug use was to ease pain after injury, Inverness Sheriff Court hears AN Inverness carpet fitter who had to give up the tools of his trade after sustaining a head injury which left him in pain and discomfort was self-medicating on cannabis a court has been told. Marc Dickson, solicitor, told Sheriff Sara Matheson at Inverness Sheriff Court, 34 year-old Ross Robertson of Leyton Drive, Inverness was using the drug to ease the pain he had suffered as a consequence of the head injury. Robertson (34) admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis between December 28, 2018 and May 22, 2019. Fiscal depute Rowena Carlton said police using a search warrant carried out a search at his address and recovered a mobile phone containing texts which revealed he had been dealing in the drug. A total of 21.2 grams worth up to £305 and a set of scales were recovered at the address. Mr Dickson said Robertson's employers had kept him on in a warehouse after his injury. "The background entirely relates to his medical condition." He said the dealing involved a small group of four friends and deals of up to £10. "He was passing on small quantities." Sheriff Matheson imposed a fine of £540. https://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/news/drug-was-to-ease-pain-after-injury-court-hears-219059/ Bongme
  15. hi Police step up patrols around Leamington park after reports of drug activity And in an unrelated case, police officers arrest a person after discovering a cannabis factory in the south of the town Police are stepping up patrols tonight (Sunday) around Eagle Recreation Ground in Leamington after reports of drug activity. A police spokesperson said: "Lots of reports of drug activity in the vicinity of Eagle Rec and the surrounding streets recently so we've been conducting high visibility patrols in the area." In an unrelated case, police officers have arrested a person after discovering a cannabis factory in the south of the town. The find was made on Friday (November 20) after they executed a warrant at the address. If you have any information about either incident contact Warwickshire Police on 101 or through their website. https://www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk/news/crime/police-step-patrols-around-leamington-park-after-reports-drug-activity-3043989 Photo Bongme
  16. hi Sheffield man caught by police growing cannabis plants at his father's home A drug-offender was caught growing cannabis plants at his father’s home after police visited the property. Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard on November 12 how Adrian Cooper, aged 36, of Erskine Road, Heeley, Sheffield, had been found at his father’s flat on Fife Way, Wincobank, Sheffield, on May 30, and they discovered cannabis plants. Mark Hughes, prosecuting, said police attended the property concerning another matter and they searched the flat and found cannabis plants. Cooper told police he was looking after the property for his father and he had set up the cannabis grow for his personal use so he did not have to use dealers. The defendant pleaded guilty to producing class B drug cannabis. David Staniforth, defending, said Cooper – who has mental health issues and physical problems after he broke his knee in a motorbike accident - had stated there were only four cannabis plants at the property. Magistrates adjourned the case to consider a probation report before sentencing on February 19. https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/crime/sheffield-man-caught-police-growing-cannabis-plants-his-fathers-home-3039429 Bongme
  17. hi I'm A Celeb's Shane Richie plotted armed robbery after drugs sent him spiralling I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here's Shane Richie has told how he first smoked cannabis at 14, nearly killed himself while high on LSD and ended up homeless, even becoming involved in a plan to hold up a post office at gunpoint I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here star Shane Richie first started abusing drugs when he was just 14. The telly favourite smoked ­cannabis and suffered side effects so bad he feared he was going to die. To this day, he still has vivid memories of the incident. Shane, 56, said: “Growing up, I was well aware of the drugs scene, but the first time I tried a joint myself was at a Christmas party in 1978 when I was 14. “A joint was being passed around nonchalantly and eventually it came to me. “I took a drag and for a minute I thought I was going to lose all control of my bodily functions. “My head was floating so high that I couldn’t work out if I was enjoying it or whether I was going to die.” A year later Shane started dabbling with the potent hallucinogenic drug LSD. It left him convinced he could fly and on the brink of killing himself. Recalling that incident, he said: “I went to a party in a flat above a carpet store and I was given a tab of the stuff. “Some of the carpets were stored in the spare room and I remember unravelling one and opening the window, thinking I’d got myself a flying carpet. “Luckily, someone dragged me back from the window ledge and I never touched the stuff again. “Of course, people had told me not to do it and warned me it could have that ­effect, but warnings weren’t enough for me. “I needed to know for myself what it was like. I needed to put my hand into the fire.” After Shane began ­taking drugs, his life quickly spiralled out of control. By 16 he was homeless and became involved in a plan to hold up a post ­office with a gun. Recalling the plot dreamed up by one of his friends, Shane said: “He had it all planned and I was completely up for it, talking through the details again and again, until suddenly from nowhere he pulled out a gun. “To this day I don’t know if it was real or not. “I just remember panicking.” Shane decided he would have nothing to do with the raid but still got into trouble with police when, moments later, he was arrested for begging and charged with vagrancy. Writing in his autobiography, he added: “I often think back to that night and how differently my life could have turned out. “If I had held up the post ­office and been caught I’d have ended up in jail and my career in showbiz would have been finished before it had even started. “But what’s most frightening of all is the realisation that the only reason I backed out was ­because I panicked.” https://www.dailystar.co.uk/tv/im-celebs-shane-richie-plotted-23047511 Vid photos Bongme
  18. hi Men barge into house and Cannabis farm with large number of plants found after disturbance Detectives are appealing for information, private CCTV and dashcam footage after a report of a disturbance on Beaumont Road in Middlesbrough at around 10.50pm last night (Saturday, November 21). Officers were called to reports that a number of men had barged into a house and that there was a disturbance at the address. Police attended the scene and located a cannabis farm with a large number of plants. An investigation has begun and police remain at the scene. It is believed that two vehicles left the address before police arrived, and detectives want to know more from any witnesses as to what they saw. They are appealing for people in the area with dashcam or private CCTV footage to come forward. They also want to hear from anyone who has information on the disturbance or the cannabis farm. https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18890057.men-barge-house-cannabis-farm-large-number-plants-found-disturbance/ Bongme
  19. hi Drug-offender caught with cannabis plants claims he used the drug to ease pain A drug-offender who was using cannabis to alleviate pain has been placed under a curfew after police found cannabis plants at his home. Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard on November 12 how James Edwards, aged 35, of Scotia Drive, Deep Pit, Sheffield, admitted producing a quantity of cannabis and to possessing cannabis after police raided his home on August 13, 2019. Mark Hughes, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was charged with the production of cannabis with a quantity consistent with personal use and with the possession of cannabis.” Mr Hughes added that police found four cannabis plants and a suspected fifth plant, a growing tent, a fan and a timer and the defendant said the drugs were for his personal use. Edwards pleaded guilty to producing a quantity of cannabis and to possessing cannabis. Kathryn Lill, defending, said one of the plants was not “viable” and was destroyed. She added Edwards was growing cannabis for health reasons to deal with pain because he suffers from a previously dislocated right knee and from a stab wound to his left arm. Edwards suffered the knee injury as a youngster, according to Ms Lill, and he also suffers from a stab wound to his arm where he had needed surgery to reconnect the tendons. Ms Lill said Edwards still gets shooting pains in his left arm and she added that pain-killers have not been very effective. She said he has discussed the situation with his doctor and he feels cannabis is more effective for his pain relief. Ms Lill added: “He started to use cannabis to try and alleviate the pain and it was for his own personal use.” Edwards also started growing cannabis plants so he could avoid having to associate with drug-dealers, according to Ms Lill. She added: “He’s learned his lesson the hard way if you try to grow cannabis yourself.” Magistrates sentenced Edwards to a four-week community order with a four-week curfew running daily between 6pm to 6am with an electronic tag. Edwards must also pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge. https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/crime/drug-offender-caught-cannabis-plants-claims-he-used-drug-ease-pain-3038255 Bongme
  20. hi Dog rushed to vets after eating cannabis plants near North Staffordshire beauty spot The plants were fly-tipped at the side of the road A dog has been rushed to the vets after eating cannabis plants that were fly-tipped by a North Staffordshire beauty spot. A concerned passer-by discovered the plants in the corner of a field on Apedale Road. They were found one the route to Apedale Country Park and the nearby railway lines in Chesterton. Sadly the beloved pooch ate some of the plants and became very ill. It was subsequently rushed to the vets and is now on the road to recovery. Police officers have now issued a warning to dog walkers to be careful. PCSO Hannah Chaplin of Staffordshire Police said: "We have received a report today about some Cannabis plants that had been fly tipped in the corner of a field on Apedale Road on the way to Apedale Park. "Unfortunately a member of the local community was out walking her dog who has ingested some of the plant causing the dog to become very ill. "Fortunately the owner has sort medical attention for the dog very quickly and the dog is on the mend. This has caused the owner a lot of stress and could of had a very different outcome. "We wish the dog a very speedy recovery. Please be aware when out with your dogs what they are sniffing or eating." https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/dog-rushed-vets-after-eating-4724957 Bongme
  21. Hi Police bust £400k cannabis factory in Bilston - one person arrested Cannabis plants worth up to £400,000 have been seized after a drugs raid in Bilston. West Midlands Police officers executed a warrant at an address in High Street on Saturday (November 21) and found a cannabis farm with roughly 400 plants. The force added that one person was arrested after the shocking discovery. A police spokesperson said: "Our team, led by PC 27290 Lowe, conducted a warrant at an address in High St, Bilston. "Approximately 400 cannabis plants seized and one arrested." https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/police-bust-400k-cannabis-factory-19324549 Bongme
  22. hi Cannabis in the attic: Plumber turned his loft into a drugs grow The growing system in the loft space made the ceiling bow in the room below A plumber transformed his Leicestershire loft into a cannabis factory. Leicester Crown Court was told the attic had a lighting and hydroponics system installed - but the ceiling was in danger of collapsing when the police searched John Mills' home, where the electricity supply had also been by-passed. Luc Chignell, prosecuting, said the growing operation was "sophisticated" and the 25 cannabis plants seized by officers could have potentially yielded 1.4 kilos of the class B drug. Mills, 42, admitted producing cannabis in the roof space of his flat in Forryan Road, Hinckley, in July last year. The prosecutor said: "He told officers he owed drug dealers money and his way of repaying that debt was to grow cannabis in his loft. "He never provided any details about how he came into possession of this equipment." Gary Short, mitigating, said Mills life took a downturn when he was convicted for the second time of driving with excess alcohol in 2017. It resulted in the loss of his driving licence that adversely affected his ability to work as a self-employed plumber. The defendant sank into a spiral of drinking and cocaine use which, in turn, caused the breakdown of his relationship with the mother of his son. Mr Short said: "By the summer of last year he was living in a grotty flat on his own trying to pay off a drug dealer's debt by allowing a cannabis grow in his attic. "The police feared the ceiling was about to come in when they searched the flat, because the lounge ceiling (below the cannabis grow in the attic) was bowing. "In the 18 months since the offence he's managed to battle his demons with alcohol and cocaine." The court heard that Mills, whose references spoke were praiseworthy, had now moved away from Leicestershire and had secured agency work as a plumber. Sentencing, Recorder Benet Brandreth QC said: "You owed money to drug dealers and agreed to grow cannabis for them in your attic for no profit. "But this offending is only part of your life story which reflects a particularly dark period in your life. "You've now managed to turn things completely around. "I'm impressed you've sought and obtained work which will help to keep you on the straight and narrow." Mills was sentenced to a 12 month community order and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/cannabis-attic-plumber-turned-loft-4724447 Bongme
  23. hi Teenage driver who crashed into lamppost after smoking cannabis tells police: 'I'm stoned' Now the delivery driver has been hit with a driving ban Teenager Benjamin Cartlidge crashed his car into a lamppost - after taking drugs. The 18-year-old told police he was ‘stoned’ when officers arrived at the scene of the Newcastle collision. Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard the incident happened at 2.15am. Prosecutor Emma Thompson said: “Police were called to a report of a collision. This defendant, in a black Fiat Punto, had been in collision with a lamppost in Clayton Road. “Police attended and asked the defendant if he had been drinking. He said, ‘No I haven’t been drinking, but I’m stoned.” Cartlidge, of Repton Drive, Newcastle, tested positive for cannabis at the scene and tests later revealed he was over the specified driving limit. He pleaded guilty to drug-driving. The court heard had no previous convictions. James Hulse, mitigating, said: “He was driving home and took a roundabout slightly faster than he should have done, in the wet. He slipped and hit a lamppost. “He was fully co-operative with the police. He’s going to feel the full force of any disqualification as he is a delivery driver. He is working towards a management qualification.” A reference from Cartlidge’s employer, which was read to the court, said: “He has excelled beyond expectations and is training for a management role. While he has been working, he has shown hard work, commitment and a passion to succeed.” Magistrates fined Cartlidge £253 and disqualified him from driving for 12 months. He must also pay £135 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge. https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/teenage-driver-who-crashed-lamppost-4712160 Bongme
  24. hi The seafront Blackpool hotel 'taken over by an armed drugs gang' The machete-wielding organisation were running a drug den from the closed promenade hotel, it's suspected Police have busted a large drug den believed to have been run by a machete-wielding gang from eastern Europe from a closed seafront hotel in Blackpool. Officers raided the 65-room New President Hotel on the Promenade on November 13 and discovered a huge cannabis factory in the building. The force reported they had received information that an 'eastern European gang had taken over a hotel in north Blackpool' who had been seen in 'possession of machetes' in the area. An emergency warrant was executed to shut down the operation - with police confirming that the factory has now been dismantled. They also stated that a number of machetes, found hidden outside the building, have also been seized. As of November 20, no arrests had been made. Lancashire Constabulary have urged people to stay calm, stating there is no wider threat to the general public. A police spokesperson said: "Blackpool North Neighbourhood Police received information that a East European gang had taken over a hotel in North Blackpool and have been seen in possession of machetes. "An emergency warrant was obtained and executed with Blackpool Task Force where a large cannabis factory has been discovered. "This has dismantled and disposed of. Machetes have also been discovered hidden outside which have been seized. "There is not believed to be any risk to the general public and the investigation is on going." https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/seafront-blackpool-hotel-taken-over-19314180 Bongme
  25. i Parents warned over drugs disguised as sweets - as Billingham man arrested 'Zombie sweets' have been seized by officers in Billingham which may contain cannabis A man in his 20s has been arrested after police seized drugs disguised as sweets. Stockton Neighbourhood Officers have detained a 21-year-old man on suspicion of supplying class B drugs after drugs and paraphernalia were seized from a property on Conway Avenue in Billingham. ome of the suspected drugs seized were disguised as sweets called zombie sweets which may contain cannabis or similar substances. However, officers and public health colleagues are warning of the dangers of such sweets, and would urge parents to be aware of the symptoms which could be caused by them being ingested. Should anyone have eaten the sweets, they are advised to seek medical assistance straight away. Symptoms can include: • Loss of coordination • Hallucinations • Nausea/vomiting • Lethargy, collapse or loss of consciousness • Cardiovascular effects such as fast or irregular heart rate Chief inspector Scott Cowie, from the Community Safety Team, said: “We want to make parents and guardians aware that these sweets, possibly containing cannabis, have been found in Cleveland and ensure that people know the symptoms associated with them. “We don’t know what is in these sweets or how strong they are but they could potentially be dangerous if taken. They come in sealed packets and look very much like real sweets. Anyone who may have information about them should contact Cleveland Police on 101.” Tom Le Ruez, Tees Preventing Drug Related Deaths Co-ordinator, said: “Edibles such as sweets infused with drugs can take longer for effects to appear than smoking drugs. People should be aware of the delayed onset of taking drugs orally and potential for unpredictable effects, especially when the contents and dosage are unknown. “There are a current rise in fake medicines and other drugs within professional looking packaging which have different contents to what is listed, resulting in serious harm. If anyone feels unwell after consuming drugs, phone 999 and speak to the emergency services for help.” https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/parents-warned-over-drugs-disguised-19318887 Bongme