Tenant jailed after weed farm found in shed
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal, Local Government
Cannabis 'should remain as Class C drug'
A council tenant has been sentenced to eight months in prison after a cannabis farm of more than 50 plants was found in his shed.
Roy Byrne was convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court for cultivation of controlled drugs in his local authority-owned property.
In light of the guilty verdict, Havering Council has filed for a possession claim with the courts that could result in Byrne being evicted from his house.
Byrne was also found guilty of stealing electricity and it is likely that this extra power was needed to keep his crops lit since cannabis buds require 12 hours of artificial light a day.
He was also found to have caused £9,000-worth of damage to his council home.
The case first came to light when an anonymous letter was sent to the council at the beginning of this year.
It raised concerns about the possibility of drugs being grown, processed and then supplied from Byrne’s home.
Council officers then launched an investigation with the police that lead to a warrant being issued. It was then that the scale of cannabis crops in his home was discovered.
In one bedroom, 30 plants were found as well as incriminating equipment that could have been used for growing his illegal harvest. A fully functioning farm was also uncovered in Byrne’s garden with a smaller selection spotted in the shed.
Councillor Damian White, deputy leader of Havering Council and cabinet member for housing, said: “We will not tolerate our properties being used for criminal activity. Not only has this criminal been sent to prison, he may also lose his home which the Council would then re-let to someone who really deserves it.”