Jail for immigrant recruited as cannabis factory 'gardener'

Lisa Bastiani will have to wait until December next year for her trial at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Keith Maddock appeared at Ipswich Crown Court and admitted producing cannabis - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An illegal immigrant who was recruited as a “gardener” for a Colchester cannabis factory has been jailed for two years.

Police officers went to a four-bedroom semi-detached house on The Willows estate on January 29 this year and found a “large and professional” cannabis farm, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Tuesday (May 18).

Every room in the house had been used to grow cannabis plants and police found sophisticated growing equipment including heating and extractor fans, said Catherine Bradshaw, prosecuting.

She said a large number of plants were discovered at different stages of growth with an estimated potential yield of between £47,600 and £140,000.

The court heard that 27-year-old Kreshnik Shpta was arrested at the premises and accepted being a gardener for the plants.

Shpta, of no fixed address, admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis.

The court heard that he owed the people who brought him to the UK £12,000 and was working off his debt to them by looking after the plants.

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In addition, he was due to be paid £3,000 after two months.

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