Calne motorcycle mechanic grew £20k of cannabis on industrial estate
A motorcycle mechanic caught running a cannabis farm on a Calne industrial estate has been jailed for two years and eight months.
Peter Clarke, 40, had a sophisticated growing system in operation at Anarchy Motorcycles on the Porte Marsh industrial estate, producing almost £20,000 of the drug.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday that police received a tip off about his operation in April last year.
"The police went there and there was clearly a room in the premises to which he claimed he could not gain access," he said.
"They told him they would force their way in if he did not give access. They were just about to do that when he produced a key."
Inside were 26 plants under high powered lights with fans and ducting. They also found 18 plants drying and a small room with smaller plants, bags of female flowering heads and other equipment.
Clarke told officers he needed to use the toilet but while in there he sent a text message to a friend reading: "Move the weed, I'm being nicked"
Officers went to his home where they found a further 33 cannabis cuttings which had been moved under a hedge.
In total officers found 77 plants which could have produced £19,300 worth of cannabis.
Clarke, of no fixed abode, who pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, had said the drugs were for his own use but anofficer calculated he would have to smoke 80 joints a day to work through what he was growing.
Mike Pulsford, defending, said the operation was an "experimental exercise" and what he produced was just to fund his own use.