Bare cannabis farmers avoid jail
Two men behind a cannabis farm in Bare have narrowly avoided an immediate jail term, but must do 200 hours of unpaid work.
Married father-of-three Adam Burke, 35, of White Lund Road, Morecambe, admitted producing cannabis and abstracting or using electricity without authority and had his 12 month sentence suspended for two years.
Joseph O’Brien, 32, now of Lullington Crossroads, Derbyshire, faced the same charges and had his 10 month sentence suspended for two years.
Preston Crown Court heard how police were called after cannabis plants were seen being loaded into a van.
Around 40 mature plants and cultivation equipment were discovered at an address on Park Street after an eagle-eyed resident spotted the suspicious activity.
The duo were arrested at the scene and taken into custody.
Defending O’Brien, Fraser Livesey said: “He became a heavy user of cannabis in the couple of years leading up to this incident.
“There is a previous conviction from 2014 for a small number of plants, but he continued to use cannabis to a greater and greater extent.
“His wife disapproved, he lost contact with his children and he was not working. At the time his distorted thinking was he would grow some plants to keep his own habit going.
“He is frank about what his situation was.”
Judge Recorder Murray said: “ It was a plan between the two of you to select a building, equip yourselves, which obviously took a lot of work, and then you began growing cannabis to make money - it’s as simple as that.
“Both of you have good things that can be said about you. The difficulty I have is this sort of offending is prevalent, that people think they can get away with it, and they set them up. It causes untold social problems.
“As a general principle both of you richly deserve to go to custody for 15 months, but I have to look at your personal circumstances.
“I’m impressed both of you have been making strides in the right direction to alter your lives.
“I’m satisfied these are genuine ones and not false hopes brought to court in the hope of getting a lesser sentence.”