July 31 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 26, 2014
A council tenant has been jailed for eight months after a cannabis farm was discovered in his home.
Roy Byrne, of Meadow Road, may now lose his local authority-owned home, where more than 50 plants were found by council officers and the police following a tip-off.
The 52-year-old had pleaded guilty to producing the Class B drug, as well as to stealing electricity and damaging property.
Havering Council said the extra energy may have been used to help power the 12 hours of artificial light a day used to grow the plants.
The defendant was found to have caused around £9,000 worth of damage to his council home.
Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of Havering Council and cabinet member for housing, said: “We will not tolerate our properties being used for criminal activity.
“Not only has this criminal been sent to prison, he may also lose his home which the Council would then re-let to someone who really deserves it.”
When officials searched Byrne’s home in Rush Green they found 30 plants and equipment in his bedroom as well as a fully functioning farm in his garden.
A warrant was issued after the council received an anonymous letter of complaint which raised concerns about the possibility of drugs being grown at the property.
Byrne was sentenced on Monday June 16 at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
The news of his conviction comes as Crimestoppers launched a fresh round of action to encourage members of the public to report cannabis cultivation in their area.
Charity workers and police officers took to streets across the capital today to hand out “scratch and sniff” cards aimed at educating people about the signs the drug is being grown.