£78k drugs farm found in York garage

First published in News by , Court reporter

A SON who kept a cannabis farm in his mother’s garage, capable of producing £78,000 of the illegal drug per year, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sandra Denise Rodmell, 52, knew nothing about what Ian James Franklin, 21, was up to at the family home in Roche Avenue, off Bell Farm Avenue, York Crown Court heard.

Nick Addington, prosecuting, said police could smell the 58 cannabis plants from outside the outbuilding before they forced their way through the locked doors and found the illegal garden.

Police experts later assessed it capable of producing three crops a year that could net between £27,000 and £78,000 in drug deals.

Officers also found drug paraphernalia, 24.36g of cannabis and 2.36g of Mcat in Franklin’s bedroom.

Ms Rodmell was initially charged with permitting the use of her home for cannabis production. The case against her was dropped when Franklin, 21, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and possessing cannabis and Mcat.

Franklin said: “My mother knew nothing of what I was doing. I didn’t speak to her about what I was doing.”

Franklin was given an eight-month jail term suspended for 12 months on condition he did 120 hours’ unpaid work. He must also pay £300 prosecution costs.

His barrister, Emma Bennett, said he had been a drug user since he was 14 and had run up a £7,000 debt.

He was told he could pay off part of it by acting as gardener for the plants. He had not had any contact from the people to whom he owed money after the police raid and still owed the money.

Franklin’s plea stated that others installed the plants and the equipment needed for them to thrive and they had only been in situ for two to three weeks.

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