Shopkeeper jailed over cannabis factory in flat

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A SENIOR judge has suggested that so much skunk cannabis is being grown in the UK that it is now being exported abroad.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, QC, made the comment as he sentenced a shopkeeper to two years in prison for allowing a cannabis factory to be set up in an unoccupied first floor flat adjoining his premises.

The judge said: “As I understand it such is the scale of production in this country that we are exporting skunk cannabis to others.”

Officers raided the factory at Helme Lane off-licence and convenience store Meltham in June 2011 and discovered 265 plants. Bradford Crown Court heard the operation could have produced about six-and-a-half kilos of the drug every three months with a wholesale value of about £24,000. Officers also found £30,000 being kept in an under floor safe.

Shopkeeper Sansar Singh Kang, 33, was yesterday jailed after he admitted allowing his premises to be used for cultivating cannabis and concealing criminal property. Earlier, the court heard that Kang, of Tithefields, Fenay Bridge, had been struggling financially at the time.

The judge also sentenced Jonathan Smith, 25, of Lockbridge Way, Milnsbridge, to two years in jail after he pleaded guilty to being involved in the production of the cannabis in the flat and a much smaller number of plants at a different location a few months later.