Man convicted of producing cannabis after factory find at disused care home

Police discover around 1,700 cannabis plants growing in a disused building in Colchester.

Police discovered more than 1,000 cannabis plants at the old care home in Lexden - Credit: Essex Police - Colchester District

A 35-year-old man has been found guilty, and a 37-year-old man acquitted of producing cannabis after police uncovered a factory of more than 1,000 plants at an old care home.

Larry St Ange was convicted by a jury on Wednesday following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

He had denied production of a class B drug after police a cannabis factory across several floors of the former Old Rectory Care Home, in Spring Lane, Lexden, just outside Colchester, at the beginning of January.

The cannabis plants were found growing in a disused building in Colchester.

The cannabis plants were found growing inside the disused building - Credit: Essex Police - Colchester District

St Ange, of Shepherd’s Bush Road, Hammersmith, claimed he was threatened into tending to the plants.

Ali Acer, of Bodney Road, London, also denied the charge, claiming he was only there to fix the electricity, and was cleared by jurors on Wednesday.

A third man, Erdal Ozmen, 40, of Broadway Mews, in Clapton Common, admitted the same charge and will be sentenced, along with St Ange, at the end of the week.

St Ange was released on conditional bail until his sentencing.

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