Jail for elec­tri­cian in cannabis fac­tory

DE­GRAD­ING TRADE: Judge warns of se­vere pu­n­ish­ment for pro­duc­tion of drugs

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

AN ELEC­TRI­CIAN who trans­formed an Ash­ford house into a drugs fac­tory has been jailed for five years.

Tian Wang, 35, was told by Judge Martin Joy, sit­ting at Maid­stone Crown Court on Fri­day, that he had played a cru­cial role in the il­le­gal scam.

The judge said: “It was wired in an ex­tremely so­phis­ti­cated and elab­o­rate way, quite lit­er­ally from roof to ground floor and ev­ery room.

“There was an enor­mous in­vest­ment of elec­tri­cal equip­ment; trans­form­ers, plugs, heat­ing and lighting de­vices. This was in­vest­ment on a large scale. You used your skill as an elec­tri­cian, which was vi­tal.”

Wang, of Bry­dale House, New Road, Rother­hithe, de­nied cul­ti­vat­ing cannabis but was con­victed by a jury.

He had ear­lier ad­mit­ted an of­fence of ab­stract­ing elec­tric­ity and was com­mit­ted to the crown court for sen­tence at the end of his trial by Ash­ford mag­is­trates.

Po­lice raided the four-bed­room house at 160 Can­ter­bury Road in Fe­bru­ary af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion that cannabis was be­ing grown on the premises.

Pros­e­cu­tor Trevor Wright said that as the po­lice forced their way in there was a strong smell of the drug.

As well as light and heat­ing sys­tems, plant pots were in the hall­way, bath­room and bed­rooms.

Skunk cannabis

When the door to an­other room was opened there was, said Mr Wright: “A great wave of heat.” Cannabis leaves were also scat­tered on the floor.

“The whole of the four-bed­room house was de­voted to the grow­ing and pro­duc­tion of skunk cannabis,” added the pros­e­cu­tor.

Wang, who is a Bri­tish ci­ti­zen, was found with an­other man when po­lice forced open a door lead­ing from the kitchen to a garage.

The court heard that two code­fen­dants, de­scribed as play­ing the role of “gardeners”, ad­mit­ted their in­volve­ment and were each jailed for two years. As Chi­nese na­tion­als they are ex­pected to be de­ported af­ter their sen­tences.

Wang, who was as­sisted in court by an in­ter­preter, looked vis­i­bly shocked at the end of the hear­ing.

Judge Joy told him he had been con­victed on clear, com­pelling and over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence, and that a sub­stan­tial prison term was in­evitable.

He said: “Skunk cannabis is a vi­cious sub­stance and those who in­volve them­selves in this de­grad­ing trade will be se­verely pun­ished.”

Wang was also sen­tenced to 18 months con­cur­rent for ab­stract­ing elec­tric­ity. He is ex­pected to re­turn to court in April for a hear­ing un­der the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act.

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