Man’s last assets are seized after drugs farm fraud

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A MAN who rented a farm to his brother, who used it to grow £1 million of cannabis, has been ordered to hand over his last assets.

Gary Jackson, 47, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday when Judge Peter Thompson heard Jackson had gained £400,000 from his criminal activities.

Judge Thompson declared that Thompson must give up his last £3,501 after he was found to have fraudulently obtained a mortgage and failed to declare rent on the farm in New Delight Road, Rickinghall.

Jackson now has two months to pay the money.

In December, Jackson, who lives at West Belvedere, Danbury, near Chelmsford, pleaded guilty to conversion of criminal property and fraud and was given a one year prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard that Jackson had claimed to be a builder and property developer earning £110,000 a year when he filled out a mortgage application for Alwood Green Farm.

He was given a £388,000 mortgage for the £457,500 property, according to prosecutor Lynne Shirley.

Jackson’s brother, Richard, then paid him £72,500 in rent having moved in – money which Jackson did not disclose in his tax return. A further £6,500 gained from casual building jobs was also omitted from the return.

Police raided the farm in March last year and discovered 1,124 cannabis plants being grown inside a converted piggery, cultivation equipment, 747 cannabis root balls and 224 juvenile cannabis plants.

Richard Jackson, 46, now of Mill Road, Occold, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to two offences of production of cannabis and one of abstracting electricity.

The court heard that he had bypassed the meter to abstract £37,651 of electricity for free.

He had used the profits from the cannabis production to fund his own cannabis addiction and was jailed for five years.

A further confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act for Richard Jackson is due to take place on June 18.

The court heard that Gary Jackson had been unaware that his brother was growing illegal drugs in buildings at the farm.