Getaway driver caught after gang steal from cannabis factory

£8,000 worth of cannabis was seized by police. Picture: Herts Police.

Cannabis was found in a builder's bag - Credit: Archant

A man was found with a builders' bag of herbal cannabis in the back of a van with false number plates, a court heard.

Rayyan Berry, 31, was stopped by police and found to have the cannabis in the back of the van along with a crowbar and a Samurai sword, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said the plants had been taken from an illegal growing operation in Nelson Road North, in Great Yarmouth.

Mr Oliver said it had been a planned operation. Berry had not been involved in the organisation of the raid but had acted as a driver.

He said it would appear that those involved were "rumbled" while trying to steal the cannabis and so they escaped with what cannabis they had.

"That is why they made their escape with not as much as had been thought. This defendant's role seems to have been somewhat limited and he seems to be the driver. There is no other evidence he was involved to a larger extent than that."

Mr Oliver added: "The plan was to take rather more than there was in the van."

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Berry, from Chelmsford, had denied possession of cannabis with intent on August 10, 2018 but was found guilty following a trial.

Sentencing him, Judge Maureen Bacon said that there had been a delay in the case coming to court, but that was partly because he had elected to have a trial despite there being strong evidence against him.

However she accepted he had not been involved in anything like this before and because of the difficulty of Covid in prison she was going to suspend his sentence.

She imposed a 10-month sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered him to pay £3,000 towards his trial.

She warned him that if he re-offended in the next 18 months he would be brought back before the court.

Judge Bacon also ordered the destruction of the sword, crowbar and drugs.

Gemma Rose, for Berry, said that he was in work but supported his family. The court agreed that he should pay the costs at a rate of £200 a month.

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