A British couple and their son were caught running an illegal cannabis grow operation after the 51-year-old father, Ian Maitland, was caught smuggling the drug in France. The elder Maitland was caught by officers while driving a Mercedes sprinter van that carried nearly 25 kilos of cannabis earlier last year.
Maitland senior told officers that the cannabis was intended for a supply back in the UK and shortly after was jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay a fine. During this time the Liverpool Crown Court overheard how the older Matiland admitted to growing cannabis at his family home.
When officers arrived at Maitland’s home they found 80 plants with lighting and ventilation units installed. Maitland’s wife, Julie, and his son, Daniel, were both arrested on the scene where police recovered over $10,000 worth of cannabis with the 24-year-old claiming the cannabis was for his own use.
Prosecutor for the case, Paul Treble, claimed that the property was in “a poor state of repair” and was recklessly used. Inside the house officers also found that Daniel had been stealing electricity to operate the grow. Both Ian and Daniel admitted to production of cannabis while Julie pleaded guilty to allowing her home to be used to produce cannabis.
The young Daniel Maitland, who has no previous convictions, also admitted to stealing electricity and the court overheard he was a very heavy cannabis user with substantial debt. The court handed down the family prison sentences of 20 months each but was willing to suspend the sentence for two years due to the delay in the case coming to court. The judge later handed the family 150 hours of unpaid work each adding “I won’t give you another chance. This is your final opportunity.”