A man secretly allowed drug dealers to cultivate a £250,000 cannabis farm in his girlfriend’s dad business premises, a court has heard.
Steven Dell, 34, of Waverley Avenue, Fleetwood, sobbed in the dock at Preston Crown Court during proceedings, after he pleaded guilty to allowing a premises to be used for growing class B drugs.
He had worked as a driver for his prospective father-in-law’s fish business, and later said he was using part of the warehouse for a gym.
The area was sealed off from view – but behind it, criminals were growing cannabis with a street value of around £249,000.
Dell, who owed a drug debt, “turned a blind eye”.
Prosecuting, Francis McEntee said: “A warrant was executed on December 1 at premises on Siding Road, Fleetwood
What was discovered was a significant and well developed cultivation of cannabis. Police established there were 275 plants ready to be cropped. The circumstances are convoluted.
“The background is he had a debt of up to £2,000 to people he had not wished to name.”
The court heard the owner of the building leased it to Dell’s girlfriend’s father.
Neither of the men knew anything about the drugs.
Defending, Wayne Jackson said: “It appears he owed money to people who one way or another put the frighteners on him.
“They let it be known he was expected to provide this premises.
“He will not be marrying his daughter, that is all over.”
Recorder Laprell imposed a nine month jail term but suspended it for two years.
• Having a drink at a bingo session and then driving home cost a woman her job as a manageress.
Nakita Holliday, a part-time pub worker, 29, of John Street, Thornton, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.
She was banned from the road for 17 months, fined £120 with £40 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
Prosecutor, Andrew Robinson, said police saw Holliday driving a Fiat Stilo slightly erratically on Hatfield Avenue, Fleetwood, on September 4 at 1.40am
She was pulled over and a breath test showed 61 micrograms of alcohol in her body – 35 is the limit.
Patrick Nelligan, defending, said Holliday, who had no previous convictions, had been to bingo with a friend.
She had a drink because she did not intend driving home.
It got late and she decided she needed her car to get to her job the next day.
She also gave her friend a lift home because she believed the alcohol she had had earlier would have left her system.
She had just been appointed a manageress and as a result of the offence had lost that job.
• An argument in a house where the walls were thin caused a fracas between neighbours in Fleetwood.
John Sweeney and his girlfriend were annoyed because the noisy argument next door had gone on for half-an-hour.
Sweeney, a 45-year-old electrician, of Warren Street, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to damaging a neighbour’s front door.
He was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 compensation with £85 costs plus £20 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
Prosecutor, Andrew Robinson, said there had been a noise issue between Sweeney and his neighbour because the walls between their two properties were thin.
On July 17 the neighbour and his girlfriend had a noisy argument which caused Sweeney and his partner to become annoyed. Sweeney then hit the neighbour’s front door.
Patrick Nelligan, defending, said his client had lived at the address for more than 10 years and kept himself to himself.
The night the neighbours had a noisy row Sweeney’s girlfriend went and remonstrated with them. Sweeney said the neighbour made threats to his girlfriend which angered him so he went round and hit next door’s front door with his shoulder once.
• A man accused of stealing from his workplace has been put on the wanted list.
Steven Cowell, 24, of Balmoral Terrace, Fleetwood, is alleged to have stolen £450 belonging to Eurogarages of Thornton Cleveleys.
Cowell failed to attend court and had a warrant without bail for his arrest issued by Blackpool magistrates.
• A woman previously banned by an Anti Social Behaviour Order from going into any shop in Fleetwood has fallen from grace and gone shoplifting in the port again.
Christine MacDonald, who has 94 previous offences on her record, had kept out of trouble for two years.
MacDonald, 52, of Kings Court, Preston Street, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to stealing four pairs of men’s boxer shorts valued at £18.
She was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
Presiding magistrate, Simon Bridge, told her: “Your previous convictions are frankly appalling.”
Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said a security guard monitored MacDonald as she went round Asda, Dock Street, Fleetwood, on August 23
She was seen putting men’s underwear in her bag, before going to the checkout and paying for some items, but not the boxer shorts.
Patrick Nelligan, defending, said MacDonald, who had previously been on an ASBO which prohibited her from entering shops in Fleetwood, had kept out of trouble for two years.
MacDonald had had problems with her benefits being paid and she had no money.
“It was her son’s birthday and she wanted to give him a present so she took the boxer shorts.”
• The father of twins broke a court order when his children were ill and taken into hospital.
David Valentine, 24, of Broadwater Avenue, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a community order.
He was sentenced to do 20 hours unpaid work for the community by Blackpool magistrates.
Charmain Moulds, prosecuting for the probation service, said Valentine had been put on a 12 months community order with up to 25 days rehabilitation for offences of assault and damage.
He had missed two appointments on August 16 and 22. It was his first breach of the order.
Gerry Coyle, defending, said Valentine had learning difficulties and mental health problems.
His girlfriend had given birth to twins who were poorly and taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital in August. Valentine’s grandfather had also died.
• A scaffolder attacked and injured two police officers after drinking at a family christening.
Alex Cossey, who was also celebrating his birthday, was so violent an officer had to stand on his ankles to stop him kicking out.
Cossey, 22, of Macbeth Road, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to two offences of assault on police.
Cossey was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 70 hours’ unpaid work for the community, ordered to pay compensation of £250 to the officer who needed stitches and £100 compensation to the other officer’ and told to pay £85 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said police were asked to go to a pub at Fleetwood on September 5 at 12.30am.
They found Cossey in a toilet with facial injuries and gave him a lift home.
At his home the officers advised his mother to call an ambulance.
Cossey came out of the address swinging punches at both officers.
They all ended up on the ground with Cossey kicking out wildly.
One officer needed stitches in his elbow and suffered pain to his back, knees, shoulder, head an cheekbone.
Patrick Nelligan, defending, said Cossey, who had no previous convictions, was thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour and had written a letter of apology.
Cossey had drunk a large amount of alcohol and had been set upon by people in a pub.
In his concussed state he believed the officers were the people who injured him.