Man grew drugs next to police

A man who grew cannabis at his Blidworth home – despite living next to a police station – has been told he will have to pay back nearly £23,000.

Darren Pilmore (38), of Dale Lane, was found growing cannabis plants on two separate occasions last year.

He was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to three counts of producing cannabis, as well as one count of fraud, after claiming he was employed to secure a loan.

At Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, Pilmore was ordered to pay back £22,842 under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) due to the profits he would have made from growing cannabis.

Pilmore was originally arrested in February 2011 after police found 18 cannabis plants growing in a wooden summer house in his garden.

The outbuilding had been modified to include high intensity lighting, heating, venting and a watering system in order to grow the Class B drug.

Pilmore was released on bail but was arrested again two months later when officers carried out a second raid and found a further 61 cannabis plants in the summer house.

Pilmore claimed he was growing the cannabis for his own personal use, but the force’s drugs experts found that the plants had been harvested a number of times and the quantity of cannabis produced, worth around £32,000, would have been too much for personal use alone.

Pc Colin Oakley, who led the investigation, said: “Despite having been arrested by police for growing cannabis, Pilmore showed an utter disregard for the law by continuing to cultivate illegal drugs at his home.

“Drugs destroy lives and Pilmore’s conviction will have undoubtedly prevented a significant amount of Class B drugs from reaching the streets of Blidworth and beyond.

“This should act as a stern warning to others that crime does not pay and that drug production and supply will not be tolerated in Nottinghamshire. Not only will offenders face a prison sentence, but they face a significant financial penalty too.”