Man who ran Brid cannabis factory is jailed

Some of the cannabis plants found at the North Street address.
Some of the cannabis plants found at the North Street address.

Bridlington’s Neighbourhood Police chief has hailed a “fantastic result” after a man who ran a cannabis factory was put behind bars.

Gavin Lowe, 27, was paid £100 a day in heroin to run the sophisticated operation on North Street, Bridlington, which was capable of producing £132,000 worth a year of high strength skunk cannabis.

Gavin Lowe

Gavin Lowe

He was sentenced to two years and three months in prison at Hull Crown Court on Monday.

Insp Grant Taylor, head of Bridlington’s Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “This is a fantastic result which highlights the fact that drug dealing and the cultivating of cannabis is a crime and does not pay.

“We will continue to target all known drug dealers within the town of Bridlington and the surrounding area with zero tolerance and offenders will be prosecuted and put before the courts.

“I want to thank the local community for their support in coming forward with valuable information about who is committing crime.”

During a January raid, detectives found £51,000 worth of cannabis growing, walls lined with insulation, carbon filtered extractors and a propagator running across four rooms.

In total 58 plants were recovered yielding 4.5 kilos of cannabis at the rented home, which was originally for children leaving care.

They found electricity illegally being abstracted and a stun gun for protection against anyone trying to raid the operation.

Lowe, of North Street, Bridlington, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence via video link from Hull Prison on Monday April 15.

He had pleaded guilty to a charge of production of a controlled drug and possession of an offensive weapon – a stun gun found in a bedside cabinet.

Crown barrister Jane Bryan said Lowe was illegally living at the premises and the landlord was abroad at the time of the raid on January 17 2013.

She said the plants ranged in height from seedlings to 15 plants that were 4ft tall.

“An analysis of the production estimated the unit could produce three crops per year,” said Mrs Bryan. “It would mean an annual production of 21.1 kilos worth £132,000.”

She said Lowe was jailed for three years and two months for possession of heroin with intent to supply in 2008 and that he also had convictions for possession of amphetamine and LSD in 2005 and possession of controlled drugs in 2008.

Defence barrister Bernard Gateshill said Lowe had pleaded guilty and wanted to be dealt with immediately. He said Lowe had a poor record for drugs and had turned to heroin unable to cope with a reduced methadone prescription after release from prison.

He said Lowe ran up £2,000-worth of heroin debt and with no job or income was asked to manage the cannabis factory for six months.

He said his only payment was in heroin and he was shortly to leave North Street having worked off his debt.

Judge Mark Bury told Lowe: “You fall to be sentenced for your role in a sophisticated cannabis growing operation. You have previous convictions which indicate a long-term drug problem.

“I don’t accept your account, that you just found the stun gun. Drugs and guns do not mix. The stun gun was there to protect you if someone came to the property causing trouble. The charger was not found, but it was in a working condition, so you will be given a consecutive sentence for that.”