More than 30 cannabis plants with street value of £50,000 found during five-hour search of Lowestoft bungalow

Plants in a cannabis farm. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Plants in a cannabis farm. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

A Lowestoft couple who set up a cannabis factory in their bungalow have been given prison sentences totalling 50 months.

Police officers who searched the bungalow in Colville Road found cannabis with a potential street value of more than £50,000, Ipswich Crown Court heard this week.

During the five-hour search of the property officers found 38 skunk cannabis plants, which had been cut and left to dry in a bedroom that had been fitted out as a growing room.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting, said those plants had a potential street value of £23,000 and a further 50 immature cannabis plants found in the loft had an estimated street value of £29,000.

'The police found a bungalow which, to a significant extent, had been converted into a cannabis factory,' said Mr Kelly.

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He said in addition to the cannabis plants, police found growing chemicals, grip-seal bags and scales at the property.

Before the court were Frank Bene't, 55, and his wife Pauline Bene't, 55, both of Colville Road, Lowestoft.

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Frank Bene't denied being concerned in the production of cannabis by another between November 2014 and February 2015 and possessing cannabis with intent to supply on February 1, 2015 but was found guilty after a trial last year. He was jailed for 30 months.

Pauline Bene't admitted production of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply. She was jailed for 20 months.

The court heard that Frank Bene't, who had denied any knowledge of the cannabis plants and said he had not been living at the property, had previous convictions for drug offences.

These included convictions for conspiracy to import drugs in 1999, possession of cannabis resin with intent to supply in 2000 and production of 38 cannabis pants in 2012 when he was given a suspended prison sentence.

Matthew Sorrel-Cameron for Frank Bene't said his client was in poor health and had come to court in a wheelchair wearing his dressing gown and slippers.

He said he had severe osteoarthritis and a serious lung disorder.

Russell Butcher, for Pauline Bene't, urged the court to pass a suspended prison sentence in her case.

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