Drug farmers in court after reporting theft of £10k cannabis crop
A BUNGLING couple called police to report a theft from their house – £10,000 worth of cannabis.
Officers arrived at the home of Colin Roberts and Mandy Coghlan to be greeted by a smell of cannabis.
They quickly established that the cannabis had been stolen and Roberts was arrested for production of the drug.
But that angered Coghlan who grabbed a loaded air pistol and pointed it at one of the police officers.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Roberts took the cannabis to alleviate his pain from Crohn's Disease.
Now Roberts and Coghlan have been handed 12-month prison sentences, suspended for two years.
The court heard police had been called to the house in Bond Street, Tunstall, on April 23.
David Bennett, prosecuting, said: "Miss Coghlan appeared to be intoxicated.
"She became upset and left the house and found a piece of glass in the back yard which she held to her throat. The officers took it from her."
After seeing her partner arrested, Coghlan then barged past an officer and went into the kitchen.
Mr Bennett added: "She said something about a gun, reached in a cupboard and pulled out something that had the appearance of a small handgun.
"The officer grabbed her arm and called for help and another officer was able to get hold of the gun. The two of them were able to subdue her and place her in handcuffs."
The pistol-type air weapon had four pellets inside and a fifth was waiting to be fired.
Officers found a "gazebo set up" in an upstairs bedroom with 16 pots with just stubs left as the rest of the cannabis plants had been harvested. There was also 46.33 grams of dry skunk cannabis. The court heard the potential yield of the plants and value of the drugs was about £2,000.
Roberts, aged 47, of Bond Street, who has previous offences for drugs matters including cultivation of cannabis in 2009, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.
Coghlan, of the same address, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
They accepted there was an element of commercial supply in the growing of the cannabis.
Joanne Wallbanks, mitigating for Roberts, asked Recorder Patrick Thompson to give her client a chance.
David Bratt, representing Coghlan, said her role in producing the cannabis was lower than Roberts. He added she acted on the spur of the moment with the firearm.
"It was just a foolish act of crass stupidity," added Mr Bratt.
As well as the suspended jail terms, Roberts must complete 240 hours' unpaid work and Coghlan must work with alcohol and drug support service Adsis for 12 sessions.
Recorder Thompson told Roberts: "You should feel ashamed of yourself because you dragged her in."