Jail for leader of gang caught with big cannabis haul

JAILED Brett Jones
JAILED Brett Jones
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A GROUP of family and friends set up a cannabis factory in a rented home, a court heard.

The group’s leader, Brett Jones, has been jailed for 32 months for his role in the failed enterprise.

The 48-year-old, his son Robert Jones, Daniel Camburn, Ryan O’Donnell and Simon Smith were caught red-handed at the property in Chedworth Crescent in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth during a police raid on January 30 this year.

The five were in the process of harvesting a crop in the living room from cannabis plants growing in the three bedrooms upstairs.

All five pleaded guilty to one count of producing cannabis at an earlier hearing.

During their sentencing at Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘It was a reasonably sophisticated operation, whereby the potential yield would be large – around £40,000.

‘It was an enterprise therefore likely to yield significant financial gain to those in charge of it. And it was a rolling operation, this would not have been a one-off crop.’

Addressing Brett Jones, of Stratton Close in Portsmouth, and identifying him as having a ‘significant role’ in the scheme, Mr Pearson said: ‘You involved your family and friends in respect of this matter. You were the person who rented the property and you have a recent conviction for a similar offence.’

The others were involved to various degrees with Smith and Camburn helping with the harvesting and being paid in cannabis for their work.

In mitigation, Louise Howard, who was representing Brett Jones, said he was the sole carer for his ex-wife who has fibromyalgia and sleep apnoea.

Reading a statement from him, she said: ‘I am so ashamed of what I have done.

‘At my age I have too many responsibilities to act like a teenager.’

Robert Jones, 26, of Rockrose Way in Portsmouth, was given a 15-month jail sentence suspended for two years, a four-month curfew and must do 120 hours of unpaid work.

O’Donnell, 37, of Westerham Close in Portsmouth, was given an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, a four-month curfew and must do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Smith, 43, of Westerham Close in Portsmouth, was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years with a three-month curfew and must complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

Camburn, 23, of Peterborough Road in Wymering, was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years and a four-month curfew.