Man, 64, jailed after he’s caught running a cannabis factory

LOCKED UP Kenneth Lee
LOCKED UP Kenneth Lee
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage

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SIXTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Kenneth Lee has been jailed after police found a cannabis factory when they raided his home.

Grey-haired Lee had filled his garage with hydroponic lights and plants, which would have yielded £10,000 worth of the drug.

Officers also found shoeboxes full of cannabis and £1,100 in cash during the search at his home in Ashdown, Gosport.

The electricity meter had been bypassed to power the operation, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

A second man – Lee’s friend Phillip Young – was let off with a suspended sentence after police found cannabis plants in his loft as part of the same operation.

Lee’s barrister David Jenkins said he had grown the plants because he owed his cannabis dealer money and feared he would be attacked if he didn’t pay him off.

‘This man, aged 64, got into debt with his dealer and the whole system was set up, one, to pay his dealer and two, to set up a continual supply,’ he said.

Lee pleaded guilty to two counts of production of cannabis, one of possession of cannabis with intent to supply, possession of a class A and extracting electricity.

Young, 52, of St Edwards Road, Gosport, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of cannabis, possessing cannabis and possessing criminal property, which was £900 in cash found at his home.

Barnaby Shaw, defending Young, said he had agreed to have the plants in his loft after another man paid him money to rent the space.

‘It’s fair to say that he is very remorseful,’ he said.

‘This has been a learning experience and a salutary lesson.’

Sentencing them Recorder John Trevaskis jailed Lee for two years and gave Young an eight month sentence suspended for two years.

Young will have to wear an electronic tag and stay at home between 10pm and 7am every day for four months.

Addressing Lee, he said: ‘You are a man who has previous convictions in relation to the use, possession and indeed production of cannabis.

‘No doubt you have heard all the things that I could possibly say to you today about that offending behaviour and the trouble it can get you into because it has done so on six previous occasions.’

Sentencing Young he said: ‘You have allowed yourself to be involved in a criminal enterprise, all be it you had no involvement yourself in any physical cultivation of the plants.

‘Nevertheless you have permitted your premises to be the place where these plants are cultivated.

‘I hope that this will be a salutary lesson to others.

‘The old maxim of course is if looks too good to be true it probably is and I think you are living proof of that.’