UK: Burnley: Police found £21k cannabis farm after entering wrong house

Police stumbled across a £21,000 cannabis farm after entering the wrong house.

Officers were called to a property in Burnley on March 29, 2020, after receiving a concern for welfare call.

Burnley Crown Court heard how police made entry to a home belonging to Ryan Lord, 31, in Piccadilly Road in the town after nobody answered the door.

Prosecuting the case, Allison Mather said there was nobody in the house but police searched and found a cannabis farm set up with 43 plants spread around the house.

The electricity had also been bypassed and there were pipes obstructing the hallway and bathroom.

There was also a black bin bag with two sets of scales and cannabis residue.

Around 2.67kg of cannabis was recovered, worth between £21,000 and £33,000, depending on how it was sold.

They also found a number of expensive items including a Rolex watch and power tools, however Lord said the watch was fake and that he used the power tools for his work as a bricklayer.

It was later discovered police had in fact gained entry to the wrong home than the one they had supposed to attend

On June 18, the owner of the house, Ryan Lord was questioned by police and told officers that a friend, Jamie Howarth, was living at the address.

Police then questioned Howarth who said he was growing it for personal use. He was sentenced to 12 months in custody on May 4, 2021.

In mitigation for Lord, Philip Holden said he had a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation in the community”.

Mr Holden said: “It’s just over two years since the commission of this offence.

“He has no like offences on his record and he is very unlikely to be involved in this again.”

He added he had a stable relationship and a four-year-old child.

Lord, who previously pleaded guilty to allowing premises to be used for the cultivation of cannabis was handed a sentence of eight months, suspended for one year.

Handing over the sentence, Recorder Paul Hodgkinson said: “On this day the police located on one view the wrong address but on the other view the right address.

“They found £21,000 of drugs, a significant figure in any situation.

“You are 31 years of age. Your partner is here in court, you have a four-year-old child – it’s time to grow up Mr Lord and put this behind you.”

Lord must also complete 20 days of rehabilitation, 120 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs of £1,000.

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