UK: Daniel Howcroft ran a cannabis farm at his Selby home in lockdown

A MAN ran a cannabis supply operation from his private drug garden during the first lockdown, York Crown Court heard.

When police executed a drugs warrant at Daniel Howcroft’s home, they found cannabis in several rooms that could have been sold for more than £3,500, said Rachael Landin, prosecuting.

Much of it of it was in containers marked with the names of different varieties of cannabis, such as “white widow” and “pineapple”.

They also found a cannabis production unit in Howcroft’s loft, cannabis plants drying in a bedroom and £800 cash.

Howcroft, 45, of Volta Street, Selby, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, possessing cannabis with intent to supply it to others, and possessing Ecstasy.

The cannabis offences were committed between February 5, 2020, and August 20, 2020.

Recorder Sam Green QC told Howcroft: “It appears from the evidence it was largely for your own consumption although you were selling onwards to a limited degree.”

Howcroft had gained financially from his illegal activities and he appeared to have been in some kind of financial difficulties at the time.

The judge also said there had been a delay in the case getting to court as police had carried out the warrant on August 20, 2020.

“He (Howcroft) has had this hanging over him for two years.”

He gave Howcroft a 12-month community order with 20 days’ rehabilitative activities and confiscated the £800 cash found by police at Howcroft’s home.

Defence barrister Sean Smith said Howcroft currently had financial difficulties.

Ms Landin said Howcroft was out when police arrived at his house on August 20, 2020, but returned home shortly afterwards.

By then police had found cannabis in his freezer worth between £1,180 and £1,705.

They arrested him and carried out a more detailed search.

Officers found more cannabis in different parts of the house on all floors.

She gave details about the value of many of the cannabis finds which together were worth between £1,415 and £3,520.

In the loft they found eight cannabis plants as well as growing equipment including root bowls, liquid plant food, reflective sheets and other items designed to ensure every plant got sufficient light.

They also found several mobile phones and drug dealing paraphernalia including plastic bags and a pair of scales, a small amount of Ecstasy in a powder form and an Ecstasy tablet.

Messages on the mobile phones showed that Howcroft had supplied two people on a regular basis.

Mr Smith handed in references on behalf of Howcroft.

“The defendant was essentially supporting his own significant use by supplying two others,” he said.

The judge said Howcroft had no previous convictions and had stayed out of trouble with the law for 45 years.

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