Court crackdown on cannabis cultivator

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A MAN who grew cannabis at his Leven home has been served with a Proceeds of Crime confiscation order.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court ruled last week that Harry Canning (70) should hand over £18,000, two years after he was convicted of crimes relating to the Class B drug.

The pensioner was sentenced in October 2010 to 140 hours of community service, having pleaded guilty seven months earlier at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to cultivating and possessing cannabis.

Lindsey Miller, head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD) and the current Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) champion, said: “Harry Canning was running a sophisticated cannabis plantation from his home in Leven and manufacturing significant quantities of the Class B drug.

“He claimed the drug was for his own personal use, but this is no excuse in the eyes of the law.

“Cultivating cannabis is classed as a ‘lifestyle offence’ under the Proceeds of Crime Act – therefore the court was entitled to look at Mr Canning’s income over the six years’ prior to his arrest.

“This is another example of the Proceeds of Crime Act being used to disrupt the activities of someone involved in the drug trade, and prevent them from re-investing their profits.

“We will continue to use this tool against anyone who makes money from crime.”

Canning was a first offender in receipt of disability benefits at time of the offence.

In June 2009, police received information that he was farming cannabis at his home address.

After a warrant was obtained, a search found 66 cannabis plants within the property, together with other items of paraphernalia associated with cannabis cultivation.

During a police interview, Canning admitted growing cannabis for his own use.