Lakenheath man grew cannabis to pay for legal action against the Government, court told

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A Lakenheath man grew cannabis to raise funds for legal action against the British government, a court heard.

Keith Jones, 57, planned to sell seeds from the crop of 411 plants he grew at his home in Barr Drive.

On Monday, Ipswich Crown Court was told that when police raided Jones’ bungalow on July 17 last year they found cannabis being cultivated in a garage and two greenhouses.

Jones told the court that in 1994 he had been the victim of a fraud which the police had declined to investigate and since then had needed to ‘keep the wolf from the door’ as he prepared to take legal action.

He said: “I had to find a way of getting the UK government in court to enforce the debt.”

Unyime Davies, prosecuting, said police found two folders at Jones’ home, one marked Money Laundering and the other Weed World which contained details of his internet researches into cannabis production.

Jones admitted buying cannabis seed online for around £50, the court heard.

Addressing the court, Jones who represented himself, claimed it had not been a commercial operation to produce cannabis but only the seeds, which he planned to sell for possibly as much as £15 each and which was not illegal.

Jones, who pleaded guilty to production of a controlled drug, said that if the scheme had not worked out the plants would have ended up in the bin.

No-one had been contacted about the possible sale of cannabis seed at the time police found the plants, said Jones.

Drug expert Rob Osler who works for Suffolk Police said that lights, fans, a temperature controller and propagators were being used by Jones to raise the crop.

Mr Osler estimated that the plants had the potential to produce more than £57,000 worth of cannabis in a single crop but accepted that the actual amount could have been nearer £28,000.

Sentencing Jones, Judge Peter Jacobs told him: “I think that beyond any scintilla of doubt the intention was to grow this crop and sell it in bulk. What is the sense of growing 411 plants when not even a market had been established for selling seed.”

Jones was sentenced to two years imprisonment and was told by Judge Jacobs that he will have to return to court later in the year for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing with the aim of recouping as much of possible of the value of his crime.

Judge Jacobs said: “It was not a cannabis factory in the biggest sense of the word but it was a significant cannabis growing enterprise.”