Businessman found growing 64 cannabis plants at his Norfolk home

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A King's Lynn businessman was found to have adapted two upstairs rooms in his home to grow 64 cannabis plants, a court heard.

Mahir Kocaslan, 43, had been growing the plants using special lighting and heating equipment, but had not harvested any crop by the time police raided the Norfolk Street address, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Kocaslan, who runs a kebab business, had admitted growing the cannabis but claimed it was for his own use and said he had set up the operation after he had looked up how to grow cannabis on Facebook and YouTube.

Hilary O'Keefe appeared for the prosecution at a special hearing to decide the basis of his plea and told the court how there were a total of 64 plants found at the premises with 44 in one room and a further 20 in another room. She said that a special lighting and ventilation system had been installed for the growing of the cannabis plants.

After hearing evidence, Recorder Douglas Herbert rejected Kocaslan's claim and told him that the court's view was that the cannabis was grown on a commercial basis

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He told him: 'Both rooms were adapted for the growing of cannabis.'

He said that if he had been growing cannabis for his own use he would started out with just a few plants and would not have needed to put in a lighting and ventilation system costing more than £2000.

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He said the courts view was that his cannabis growing was on a 'commercial basis' and said: 'This is a serious offence. You were growing cannabis on a commercial scale.'

However he accepted that Kocaslan, who had the help of a Turkish interpreter in court, had not harvested the cannabis or sold any of the cannabis:'You are a man who has his own business and works hard to operate the business. There is no evidence of any supply in relation to the cannabis.'

Recorder Douglas imposed a 14 month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to do 100 hours unpaid work.

Philip Farr, for Kocaslan, said he was a hardworking businessman of previous good character: 'He made an appalling mistake.'

He said any immediate jail term would destroy his business.

He said that Kocaslan also had a family to support.

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