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Bradford woman had £50,000 drugs factory in cellar
7:00am Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
A judge jailing a woman with a £50,000 drugs factory in her cellar for two years has warned other commercial cannabis growers they risk bringing criminal gangs to their neighbours’ doorsteps.
Sharon Monks called the police in terror when three men tried to break into her home with a sledge hammer to steal the valuable drug crop she was nurturing for profit, Bradford Crown Court heard.
Officers arrived at the property in Harrogate Street, Bradford, on April 12 to find the metal grille protecting the front door hanging off and the door damaged. They heard a humming sound from the cellar and discovered 71 cannabis plants, with a street value of more than £50,000.
Monks told the police she was being paid £2,000 to nurture the plants for others.
She was not a drug user, but was in debt and needed the money, the court heard.
She pleaded guilty to production of cannabis at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court last month. In mitigation yesterday, the court was told Monks, now of Oxford Road, Bradford, was ashamed and disgusted by her actions.
“She herself had not realised the danger she had put herself in, or others, by being engaged in this operation,” her barrister, Manisha Singh, said.
Judge Jonathan Rose said Monks was running “a significant commercial venture.”
“It brings criminality to the doorstep of the neighbours as well as the defendants,” Judge Rose said.