Newlyweds fly home to face cannabis trial
A BRIDE and her new husband were arrested on drugs charges on their return to Britain from a lavish wedding and honeymoon in Cuba.
Neighbours of Leigha and Ricky Armstrong had raised the alarm after noticing a strong smell coming from their home.
Police found 34 cannabis plants worth up to £22,500 in a locked room containing heating equipment.
The groom, 29, had even left a notepad with growing instructions, thought to be for a cousin who was ‘dog-sitting’.
Officers also suspect that the couple’s beach nuptials were funded by proceeds from the drugs although they claimed they had used a ‘tax rebate’.
It was estimated that each plant at their rented property in Pontypool, South Wales, could have produced 30 to 90 ounces of cannabis.
The bride, 25, a beautician, and her self-employed husband were arrested last July and have admitted producing a controlled class B drug. Gareth Williams, defending at Newport Crown Court, admitted it was clear they were ‘in it together’. He added: ‘While there are not as many plants as you sometimes see, this was a determined effort to grow.’
Judge Geraint Walters said: ‘So happy were you in your little world, you celebrated your marriage in Cuba leaving a drugs factory back in your house. You thought: “Why bother working when I can make vast sums of money growing cannabis?” This kind of behaviour is a scourge.’
Ricky Armstrong was given an eight-month suspended sentence with 150 hours of unpaid work. His wife was given a ninemonth suspended sentence with 120 hours of unpaid work.
lavish: The Armstrongs’ beach wedding ceremony in Cuba