Dad grew cannabis after business failed

Timothy Lane, jailed for 18 months for producing cannabis and extracting electricity
Timothy Lane, jailed for 18 months for producing cannabis and extracting electricity
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A Leyland cannabis farmer has been jailed for 18 months after growing 157 plants and extracting electricity at a Preston house.

Police officers uncovered the farm in Bleasdale Street East, Preston, when they saw the door was open and thought there had been a break in.

However inside the property they discovered a hydroponics set up and a large number of plants growing in warm, well lit conditions.

Timothy James Lane, 51, of Fox Lane, was contacted and arrived at the property an hour later.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, told the court: “He admitted he owned the premises and used it for his domestic appliance repairs business downstairs but upstairs.”

However he had converted the upstairs and loft areas to grow the class B drug, starting with around five to 10 plants.

At one point the electric had been cut off and some plants had died but Lane had drilled in to the meter to extract electricity unlawfully.

John Woodward, defending, told the court Lane had stopped drinking and using cannabis, adding: “This has had an extremely salutary effect on him.”

He said the family man had a successful domestic appliance repairs business until five or six years ago, when changes in legislation made it impossible for him to buy old fridges.

Mr Woodward said: “As a result of that, his hard work in building up a substantial and successful business has effectively come to an end.”

The court heard Lane started growing a few plants at his premises but was persuaded by another man - who he has refused to name - to take the enterprise further.

Lane has also fallen £8,000 into debt with the electricity company.

Judge Christopher Cornwall, sentencing, said: “You had a complete awareness and understanding of the scale of the operation.”