Pair jailed for growing cannabis at North Witham farm, near Grantham

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A CANNABIS factory was uncovered by police during a raid on a North Witham farm house, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Officers armed with a search warrant went to the Black Bull Farm in the village and found two flats had been converted into a commercial cannabis growing operation.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said over 150 cannabis plants with a £100,000 street value were found and a number of people were arrested. Joseph Hutton, who was wearing white protective overalls, was found inside the premises trying to hide, while a number of other people were detained, including Jacqui Smith.

Hutton told officers he had only arrived that day after being offered £1,000 a shift to trim the crop.

Smith admitted she had been looking after the plants for the previous six months.

Smith, 54, of Arundel Road in Walton, Peterborough, and Hutton, 26, of Bayswater Road in Melton Mowbray, each admitted unlawful production of cannabis on March 15 2011. Smith was jailed for 15 months and Hutton for eight months.

Mauro Maselli, defending Smith, said she acted out of character and performed a lesser role in the operation. He said Smith was the main carer for her ageing mother and had also been helping her own daughter who was recently made homeless.

Chris Swistak, defending Hutton, said he had sorted out his life after overcoming a number of problems in recent times, adding: “He foolishly agreed to do this for one day. He was a bit part player in this arrangement.”