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Man who ran cannabis factory in Southwold is jailed

PUBLISHED: 05:30 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:46 01 October 2020

Ashley Goodridge was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Ashley Goodridge was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

A man who ran a cannabis factory from a flat in a popular Suffolk seaside town has been jailed for 27 months.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Ashley Goodridge, 32, operated the cannabis factory in the attic of a flat in Station Road, Southwold.

Police executed a warrant at the address around 10.15am on March 13, 2019, and discovered a total of 145 cannabis plants, lighting, fans and a watering system.

The electricity meter had also been bypassed at the property to aid the growth of the plants, the court heard.

The cannabis plants had an estimated value of between £28,000 and £31,000.

Goodridge and co-defendant Esther Hall were arrested at the scene by officers from the East Scorpion drugs team.

The pair were both then taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

Opening the case on the first day of their trial at Ipswich Crown Court, prosecutor Joanne Eley said there was no doubt that “substantial efforts” had been made to convert the attic into a space to grow cannabis.

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The jury were told that Hall had previously pleaded guilty to allowing premises to be used for producing drugs.

But following Ms Eley’s opening address to the jury, Goodridge, of no fixed address, decided to change his plea.

He then pleaded guilty to producing a controlled drug of class B (cannabis) and abstracting electricity.

Joshua Kern, defending Goodridge, said his client was “remorseful and sorry for what he has done”.

Prosecutors then offered no evidence for the offences of producing cannabis and abstracting electricity against Hall, 31, of Cambridge Road, Seven Kings, and a verdict of not guilty was recorded for those charges.

On Wednesday, Judge David Pugh sentenced Goodridge to 27 months’ imprisonment for producing cannabis and three months for abstracting electricity to run concurrently.

He will serve half his sentence in custody before being released on licence.

Hall, who was sentenced on Thursday, received an 18-month community order for allowing premises to be used.

She must also complete up to 35 rehabilitation days.


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