Bridgnorth country club owner jailed after £80,000 drugs found
The owner of a Shropshire country club who allowed two cannabis farms to operate on his property has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Police raided the Swancote Country Club in Bridgnorth Road twice in six months, seizing a haul of cannabis with a street value estimated at £80,000.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday, the country club's owner Steven Platt was sentenced to 30 months in prison after previously admitting allowing the premises to be used for the production of cannabis.
The 42-year-old denied having knowledge of the cannabis factories, which were found in two upstairs flats at the property and in the cellar.
He claimed the flats had been rented by two eastern Europeans – who have never been traced by police. When police first raided the country club on November 25, 2011, they found 48 cannabis plants in two upstairs flats at the property, including one eight foot 'mother plant'.
Following another tip-off, police carried out a further raid at the country club on April 13, 2012, where they discovered another cannabis farm hidden behind a fake wall in the cellar.
Behind the wall, which had shelves with food glued on to it, they found 100 cannabis plants.
The total amount of cannabis seized during both raids amounted to six kilos, with an estimated street value of £80,000.
The court heard from Detective Constable Robert Loach, of Bridgnorth police, that there had been an 'obvious' smell of cannabis when police raided the property.
But Platt said he had not noticed the smell claiming he had suffered from 'decongestion' problems for several years, which had hampered his sense of smell.
Phillip Beardwell, prosecuting, said the country club's drive had been dug up to lay an underground cable to power the cannabis factories. But Platt denied knowledge of the work, claiming the drive had been dug up previously due to drainage problems.
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