Jail sentence over cannabis factory set up in Tenby fish and chip shop
9:13am Wednesday 11th July 2012 in News
A businessman who set up a cannabis factory inside his Tenby fish and chip shop has been jailed for 20 months.
Brian Davies, aged 67, ran into financial difficulties while operating the Spinnaker chip shop in Upper Frog Street, Swansea crown court was told.
Another businessman who helped him, Alistair Firth, 42, of The Green, Tenby, was also jailed for 20 months.
Mark Millard, 36, of Newbridge, Letterston, who acted as the "gardener" because of his expertise in rearing cannabis plants, was given a 12 month suspended prison sentence despite it being his third conviction.
They all admitted their involvement in the production of 166 cannabis plants between December 1, 2010, and April 14, 2011. Firth also admitted possessing 22 20gram bags of cannabis found at his home. Davies also admitted the actual supply of two 20 gram bags of cannabis to a German woman.
The court heard that two rooms at the Spinnaker had been converted into a cannabis factory and the plants could have yielded six kilos of the drug.
Judge Keith Thomas said he was satisfied that Firth, who ran computer shops in Pembroke and Haverfordwest, had supplied some of the equipment used in the operation.
He was also confident that it was Firth who had recruited Millard to look after the plants.
Dyfed Thomas, the barrister representing Davies, said his client had now lost everything "in a venture that was foolish from beginning to end."
Chris James said Firth had been an "entrenched" user of cannabis over a number of years. But Judge Thomas said he had also been a distributor of the drug and not just a user.
When police raided his home, he added, they not only found the bags of cannabis but they also discovered a dealer's list of buyers and £3,000 in cash.
He ruled that Davies had made £15,142 out of the operation and Firth £21,912.
Davies, he said, had sufficient assets to pay that amount and Firth had assets of £55,330. A Proceeds of Crime investigation is underway which could result in the courts confiscating what they had made out of criminal conduct.
In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Millard was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for the community.