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Friday, 03 July 2015

West Cumbrian cannabis grower jail sentence slashed

A West Cumbrian man who was jailed after police caught him hiding at a major cannabis farm in Maryport had his prison sentence slashed by appeal judges today.

Mark Anthony Bower, 45, of Church Road, Harrington, was jailed for 10-and-a-half years at Carlisle Crown Court in May after admitting conspiring to supply cocaine and produce cannabis.

But today, Bower had the sentence cut to eight-and-a-half years in a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London.

Mr Justice King said Bower’s was not the most serious case of cannabis production and he deserved credit for having pleaded guilty to his crimes.

He was arrested when police raided a cannabis farm on an industrial estate in Maryport in July 2010 and found him hiding in a boarded-up area.

More than 400 cannabis plants were found growing, with ventilation and lighting systems set up.

The farm had a potential yearly harvest worth more than £600,000 on the streets.

Earlier, Bower had been linked by telephone traffic to a conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Police had found about a kilo of the drug when they chased and stopped a criminal’s car in Cockermouth in December 2009.

Today, lawyers for Bower argued before Mr Justice King, Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Griffith Williams that the total sentence was too long.

The judges agreed. Mr Justice King said: “The appellant was undoubtedly an organiser [in the cannabis plot].

"This was, however, an individual operation which had not yet supplied cannabis to the public.”


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