POLICE visited the home of two grandparents – and by chance stumbled upon a £250,000 drugs den.
Officers called at the home of married Barry and Karen Hansler on an unrelated matter and noticed a strong smell of cannabis. A search revealed three crops of the drug with an estimated street value of at least £250,000.
They found 286 plants including two ‘mother plants’ which would have produced 26kg (57lb) of cannabis.
The basement, which measured 30ft by 30ft (9m by 9m) was packed with plants.
Police later found evidence of high living by the Hanslers, including at least six trips to Spain and a holiday in the US over a two-year period.
There were four flatscreen TVs in the married couple’s six-bedroom home, despite there being no evidence of the Hanslers, who have nine grandchildren, having worked for four years.
Now Barry Hansler, 58, (pictured) has been jailed for four-and-a-half years. Wife Karen, 53, was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years and a three-month curfew.
She was ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Barry Hansler dodged the question when asked about the cannabis smell.
But he later told police he had fallen behind on his mortgage and said: ‘It’s in the shed outside.’
Police found 98 plants in the shed, but when they went into the living room, officers could feel heat through the floorboards.
They got the keys to the basement where there were two more crops and lighting and growing equipment.
Barry Hansler admitted producing cannabis at his home in Wait End Road, Waterlooville, on November 22, 2012.
But wife Karen denied being concerned in the production of a class B drug at the house on the same date.
A jury found Karen Hansler guilty following a trial.
Judge Sarah Munro, sentencing, said it ‘beggars belief’ that Mrs Hansler did not know exactly what was going on in her own home.
She said to Mr Hansler: ‘There is not a shred of evidence that anyone other than you was organising the production of cannabis for cash sale.’
The couple could be ordered to repay their criminal gains at a Proceeds Of Crime Act hearing to be held at a later date.
An order was made for the cannabis to be destroyed.