The pilot of a light plane which crashed carrying a prisoner on day release was a convicted drug smuggler.
When police checked Sidney Clark’s home in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, after the plane piled into an orchard near Lyminge, they found 400 cannabis plants.
While Clark was awaiting trial at Maidstone Crown Court he skipped bail and when police tracked him down to a house in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, they found he was growing more plants.
During a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Clark, 59, described himself to detectives as a professional cannabis grower who earned £25,000 a year from it.
He rented the cottage in Shepton Mallet under a false name and diverted electricity to grow the plants.
Clark told detectives he expected to grow 60 ounces a crop, retailing at £100 an ounce.
He said he sold the cannabis to ten to 12 friends and had earned £150,000 in the last six years.
Clark has been jailed in Iran, Japan, and Bangkok for drug smuggling and freely admitted to smoking dope for the last 44 years.
He said he got his income from growing cannabis and had never claimed benefits in his life.
Clark has admitted to cultivating drugs at his home in Maidstone and in Shepton Mallet, as well as abstracting electricity to propogate the plants.
The case was adjourned until June 29. Clark was remanded in custody.