A parish councillor who described himself as an “anti-drugs role model” has been slammed by a judge for his “nauseating hypocrisy” after admitting his part in running a large cannabis factory.
Stephen Crowther, 57, of Marine Valley, Flamborough, who has since resigned as a member of Flamborough Parish Council, was today jailed for 15 months by a Hull Crown Court judge.
Police had found 123 cannabis plants with a street value of nearly £7,000 when they raided the warehouse he rented on the industrial estate in Flamborough Road at the entrance to the village in December 2009.
It was opposite another unit where he operated a haulage business.
They also found cannabis plants, electrical equipment and a tent used for growing the plants in his work van and discovered he was planning to expand, using a second premises nearby.
He had previously been admired as a councillor for his work with youngsters and his crusade against illegal drugs.
Sentencing Crowther at Hull Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said: “Given your evidence about your anti-drugs stance and how you presented yourself as a pillar of the community as a councillor, you presented a catalogue of lies with a nauseating mixture of hypocrisy.
“You purported in public to be anti-drugs and yet in private you were involved in this crime. You served the community well and started a youth committee, but you have done them a grave disservice.
“You permitted individuals to use your premises for the manufacturing of drugs and you knew full well what was going on.
“You played an important role in this operation that plainly had plans for expansion.”
Crowther had initially denied his involvement but on the day his trial was due to start last October admitted being concerned in the production of the drug.
He then face a trial to prove he had no knowledge of the crime. The judge rejected his account and he appeared in court today for sentencing.
Full report in Thursday’s Bridlington Free Press.