Fri, 19 Aug 2011
A SKITTLES alley at a Burton pub was converted into ‘a cannabis factory’ producing crops worth £10,000, jurors have heard.
Police discovered the secret farm in December 2009 in a raid on the Black Horse in Stanton Road, Stapenhill.
Glyn Samuel, prosecuting, said the alley had its openings bricked up, a padlocked door installed and the interior partitioned in two.
“Inside they found what the Press might call a cannabis factory, a fairly wellorganised growing operation, with lights and filters and cannabis plants, still fairly young, growing. In total there were 66 plants,” he told Stafford Crown Court.
“In about 13 weeks from the date of the raid, the yield would have been, if sold in the smallest amounts on the streets of Burton, £10,000,” he said.
“Further plants could have been grown, of course. The yield in March 2010 would have been sufficient for the average user to have a supply lasting two-and-a-half to five years.”
Mr Samuel alleged one of those involved was Martin Monaghan, whose fingerprints were found on a glass and fan in the alley.
Monaghan, 51, of Sycamore Road, Stapenhill, denies producing a controlled drug between November 1 and December 22, 2009.
Mr Samuel said in November 2009 staff at the pub — now demolished — noted builders were bricking up the front of the alley and installing a padlocked door.
“All that work was arranged by a man called Hans Adair,” Mr Samuel said.
“He has pleaded guilty to an offence of knowingly permitting the growing of cannabis. The police got involved on December 22 when they raided that alley.”
Police arrested Monaghan on March 16 last year at his home and found instructions on hydroponics plant cultivation and notebooks containing details taken from the instructions. There was another notepad with a list of five people and amounts owed.
David Iles, defending, asked: “The allegation is you were one of those tending the plants.” “It’s completely wrong,” replied Monaghan.
Click to view the profile for David Iles - Defending