Ipswich: Landlord had cannabis growing in his pub, court told

A PUB landlord has denied turning his hostelry into a mini cannabis factory.

Ipswich Crown Court heard David Clarke was the manager of Red Lion in the town’s Bramford Road when police arrived to search the premises on December 2 last year.

The pub subsequently shut down after Clarke’s arrest, the court was told.

The 61-year-old, who had previously run the Whitton Maypole in Old Norwich Road, has pleaded not guilty to being concerned in the production of cannabis, and permitting his premises to be used for producing the Class B drug.

Clarke, of Old Norwich Road, has also denied a third charge of abstracting electricity.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said when police searched the Red Lion they found a locked door to the basement or cellar of the premises. When they entered the room it was lined with foil, had extractor fans, lighting, and transformers.

Mr Crimp told the jury: “It was just the sort of set up if you had wanted clandestinely to grow cannabis plants.”

Most Read

Police carried on searching the pub and found another locked door on the ground floor of the premises.

When they were able to get inside they discovered the scene inside was similar to the first room.

It was foil-lined, with lights and fans. It also contained cannabis plants.

In order to power the lighting and fans someone had bypassed the electricity meter, and run wires into both of the rooms, the court heard.

Clarke was arrested and interviewed by police. He told them he was not involved in setting up either of the rooms or aware that cannabis was being grown.

The jury was told the former landlord had let out the basement to a man called Ian Johnson, but had kicked him out when he discovered what he was up to.

Clarke said he had also let out the second room to a man he knew as Don. However, he did not know what Don was doing in that room.

The trial continues.