A man who acted as a “gardener”, tending 145 cannabis plants, tried to escape during a police raid by climbing out of a window and on to rooftops, a court heard.

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Julian Flint, 42, was arrested after police discovered three bedrooms at a home on Silver Road, north Norwich, were all being used to grow the cannabis plants. The plants had a potential street value of about £50,000, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday,

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said that Flint’s role was that of a gardener, looking after the cannabis plants. A text message was produced as evidence which asked him about watering the plants.

Flint admitted being involved in the production of cannabis and was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

John Morgans, for Flint, said he now realised how serious his involvement was and was full of remorse.

“He will never become involved in anything like that again,” he said.

The sentencing comes amid a crackdown by police on cannabis farms in the city.

On Friday, officers acting on a tip-off raided a home in Adelaide Street, off Dereham Road. They found a small cannabis factory and seized about 37 plants.

One person was arrested and cautioned for producing the class B drug.

And on Tuesday morning, as revealed by the Norwich Evening News, police found 30 cannabis plants in a home in Mile Cross Lane.

In the home they also discovered a red cabinet with a secret passageway hidden behind it. The passage led to a room full of cannabis equipment.

A 37-year-old man was arrested and cautioned. A fan, transformer, lighting equipment and extractor fan were also seized from the address.

Have you got a crime story? Contact Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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