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Cannabis growers must repay profits

Two men who ran a “sophisticated” cannabis factory have been ordered to pay back their ill-gotten gains.

encod freedom to farmJonathon Rose, 47, of Hull, and Dominic Robinson, 47, of Hessle, were jailed for four years last October for running a factory capable of producing more than £100,000 of the illegal drug a year.

Rose was deemed to have profited by £10,000 and has been ordered to pay the amount back.

Judge Roger Thorn QC has ordered him to pay the money back within six months or face a further six months on his sentence.

Robinson was deemed to have made £96,120 from his criminal lifestyle and had assets worth £3,240 confiscated in April.

The remaining £92,880 benefit was kept on file and can be revisited in the future if he is found to have further assets.

At a hearing at Hull Crown Court, senior financial investigator Lorraine Baines said: “Dominic Robinson made a substantial amount of money from the cannabis factory behind his house.

“Most of it has been spent, but the case will be periodically reviewed and if he is found to have any assets in the future the case can be reopened and the additional £92,880 confiscated.

“Criminals need to be aware that Humberside Police will pursue individuals who seek to make a profit from their criminality.”

Robinson’s girlfriend, Marie Lamerton, 34, who used money made through producing the drug, received an eight-month prison term, suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 160 hours’ unpaid work in the community.

Rose and Robinson, who were school friends, created a “massive” drugs den in Hessle, a court heard.

When police raided the property last November, following an anonymous tip-off, they found 181 mature cannabis plants, 173 younger plants and 232 cuttings.

Officers said the discovery allowed them to cut off a vital supply potentially feeding dealers across the East Riding.

They believe the pair were supplying cannabis to their heroin dealer and it was being sold on to contacts.

The court heard the operation, in an outbuilding at Robinson’s father’s house in Northgate, Hessle, began in 2005.

Rose joined the operation after it had been set up by Robinson, but provided the expertise that allowed it to expand.

He bought and installed 13 commercial air-conditioning units.

The men had organised the outbuilding into five rooms lined with insulating plastic, which reflected light from an intensive lighting system.

They also installed dehumidifiers and kept a stock of chemicals.

Police found wall charts with a timetable for feeding the plants.

Based on four harvests per year, selling the cannabis at £5 per gram, the plants would have fetched £128,900 per year. The court heard how Robinson claimed he intended to use the profits to pay for detox.

Rose claimed he did not stand to gain financially, but stood to receive some of the cannabis himself.

Rose, of Halyard Croft, Hull city centre; Robinson, of Northgate Place, Hessle; and Lamerton, also of Northgate Place, pleaded guilty at previous hearings to charges relating to the factory.


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