Redundancy paid for drugs factory

A LAID-OFF worker used his redundancy money to create a high-tech cannabis factory.

Police were called to Forewood Road on August 10 this year after receiving a report that a van there had been broken into, magistrates at Hastings heard recently.

In fact they found the owner Gary Usher sitting in the van but noticed a strong smell of cannabis.

Cannabis resin was found and a search of his home revealed a sophisticated factory with 35 plants.

Usher, 36, of Wilton Road, Bexhill, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis resin and a further charge of being concerned in the production of cannabis.

Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said: “Police investigating the van found five grammes of cannabis in a tin and a further 37 grammes in a wash-bag.

“A search warrant at his Wilton Road address revealed a reasonably sophisticated hydroponics set up with 30 cannabis plants with a street value of between £2,000 and £4,000.

“It was a tidy set-up.

“When interviewed he denied intention to supply and said the cannabis was for his personal use.”

Samantha Wingfield, defending, said: “There was no intention to supply.

“He suffered a horrendous knee injury and lost his job due to this.

“He got £2,000 redundancy money and used that to buy the equipment.”

Magistrates referred the case to crown court for sentencing as they felt it was beyond their sentencing powers.