Drugs grown to ‘repay debt’



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A-FATHER-OF-FOUR has been jailed for two years for establishing a high-strength skunk cannabis factory capable of producing more than £14,000 in tax-free drugs.

Steven Hill, 33, was arrested as police found 46 cannabis plants up to 4ft tall in almost every room in his rented house at Wold Newton Road, Burton Fleming.

He was not home at the time of the raid on August 7. Police estimated the single crop of 2520 grams of cannabis was worth around £14,500 in 720 street deals although Hill said it was worth much less. High-strength skunk growers can produce three crops a year putting the profit £42,000.

Hill, a potato factory worker, of Burton Fleming, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence on (Friday Jan 10) after pleading guilty to a charge of the production of cannabis.

The court heard at the time of his growing operation he was in debt and under threat of eviction.

Crown barrister Jharna Jobes said plants were found in almost every room in the house along with lighting, hydroponics, heating and ventilation fans. She said analysis showed an average of 46 grams of cannabis was found in each plant - enough for 720 street deals.

The court heard he had previous conviction in 2006 and 2013 for possession of cannabis. On the last occasion he was stopped in his car with the drug.

Defence barrister Nigel Clive urged the judge not to jail him saying he had fallen on hard times. He said he had a £1,000 debt to repay and four children to support and his factory wage did not cover his needs. He said he had only turned to drug production to repay the debt.

Recorder David Ake said he took into account he had no previous convictions for production of cannabis, but the police had recovered drugs on a commercial scale. He jailed Hill for two years and ordered the destruction of the drugs and equipment recovered.

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