Man grew cannabis in piggery

A man who grew more than £1 million worth of cannabis in a piggery at a Rickinghall farm has been jailed for five years.

Officers who raided Alwood Green Farm in March last year found 1,124 cannabis plants, 747 cannabis root balls and 224 cannabis seedlings together with cultivation equipment.

The building had been divided to create a packing area and five areas for growing the drug, prosecutor Lynne Shirley told Ipswich Crown Court last Thursday.

It was estimated that the value of the cannabis being grown was £1,050,000. A bypass of the electricity meter had been used to obtain £37,651 of electricity.

Richard Jackson, 46, of Mill Road, Occold, pleaded guilty to two offences of cultivating cannabis and one of abstracting electricity.

The court heard that Jackson rented the farm from his brother Gary, who had not declared earnings to the Inland Revenue, including the rental, and who claimed he earned £110,000 a year to obtain a mortgage of £388,000 to buy the property.

Gary Jackson, 46, pleaded guilty to conversion of criminal property and fraud and was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid community work.

The court accepted that he was not aware the farm was being used to produce cannabis.

In mitigation, Helen Ahmet said Richard Jackson had used profits from the cannabis growing to fund his cocaine addiction and was remorseful at commiting the offences.

Matthew Gowen said Gary Jackson believed he was involved in a normal commercial transaction when he agreed to rent the farm.