Cannabis drug farmer jailed

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­stephenb

A DRUG farmer caught man­ag­ing two cannabis fac­to­ries has been jailed for more than four years.

Christoper Sta­ples (29), of Plover­ley, Wer­ring­ton, Peter­bor­ough, was run­ning the fac­to­ries, which con­tained drugs worth £26,000, at houses in Chat­teris and Wis­bech.

Sta­ples, who pleaded guilty to two counts of pro­duc­ing cannabis and one count of fraud, was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court on Thurs­day.

Kristo­pher White (26), of Croy­land Road, Wal­ton, Peter­bor­ough, who was work­ing as a gar­dener at the Chat­teris fac­tory, was jailed for 18 months at the hear­ing af­ter plead­ing guilty to one count of pro­duc­ing cannabis.

But Sta­ples’ for­mer part­ner, Emma Mor­ley (28), of Copse­wood, Wer­ring­ton, Peter­bor­ough, avoided a jail term af­ter she told the court her young son needed con­stant care as he had a med­i­cal prob­lem.

She was given a two-year con­di­tional dis­charge af­ter ad­mit- ting fraud and al­low­ing the use of premises for the pro­duc­tion of cannabis.

Ed­ward Ren­voize, prose­cut­ing, said: “On Au­gust 13, 2010 the po­lice he­li­copter was fly­ing over Chat­teris us­ing the in­frared cam­eras. Op­er­a­tors spot­ted a prop­erty on The Elms with higher heat ra­di­a­tion than other prop­er­ties.

“When po­lice ex­e­cuted a war­rant in Septem­ber they found White and Sta­ples present. There were a to­tal of 47 plants, with a value of £18,000.”

Po­lice then vis­ited a house in Mur­row Bank, Wis­bech, where Sta­ples was liv­ing at the time. When they ar­rived they found Mor­ley and a locked room. She said she did not know what was in the room.

But when of­fi­cers en­tered it they found 22 cannabis plants, worth a to­tal of £8,700.

The court also heard Mor­ley had ap­plied for sin­gle per­son coun­cil tax dis­count, when she was liv­ing with Sta­ples.

Mean­while, Sta­ples made a suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion for a mort­gage worth £85,000 us­ing false in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing false bank state­ments, which would not have been suc­cess­ful if the cor­rect in­for­ma­tion had been given.

Mor­ley was given the chance to ad­dress the court, where she told Judge Sean En­right that her son, born in 2009, had a med­i­cal con­di­tion which meant his di­ges­tive sys­tem could not break down pro­tein and he was on a spe­cial diet to en­sure he was not taken ill.

Claire Matthews, de­fend­ing Sta­ples, who is the boy’s fa­ther, said he had now sep­a­rated from Mor­ley but the pair worked hard to­gether to care for the child.

Roy James, de­fend­ing White, said: “He was only in­volved in one fac­tory and he played a much lesser role than Sta­ples.”

Jailed: Christopher Sta­ples who ran two cannabis fac­to­ries.

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