Mum Caught Growing Cannabis Blamed 'Humming Sound' On Sunbed
Emma Carter, 41, falsely claimed a telltale 'humming sound' coming from a first floor bedroom was her daughter using the tanning machine when detectives turned up on her front doorstep looking for a wanted fugitive.
But officers, who could smell the drugs, insisted on checking and found 20 plants of superstrength 'skunk' cannabis then realised that the humming noise was being made by electrical hydroponic equipment used to grow the weed.
An illicit electricity supply had been put in place to avoid large energy bills. Experts believe the farm would have yielded nearly £16,500 ($20,000) worth of skunk.
Carter who lives with her two young sons in Salford, Greater Manchester, UK, initially claimed the drugs were for her own 'medicinal use' but later insisted the farm was set up as she had owed money to her ex-boyfriend Anthony Sheffield.
Sheffield was in prison at the time of the raid and was not charged with any offence. Another man aged 33 was charged with producing cannabis but the case against him was dropped.
In a statement Carter said: "I was put under pressure to allow others to set up and farm at my house due to debts I owed to my former partner Anthony Sheffield who was in prison at the time.
''I was not responsible for taking care of the plants and I was not going to receive any financial benefit."
At Manchester Crown Court, Carter admitted producing cannabis but was spared a prison sentence and instead was given an 18 month community order.
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Prosecutor Miss Simone Flynn said: "On 28 December 2018 police attended her home address in Salford looking for a wanted man in relation to an unrelated matter.
"They went upstairs and could hear the sound of humming coming from the bedroom and a strong smell of cannabis. The defendant claimed her daughter was using a sunbed.
"Police were allowed access went inside and it was clearly a cannabis farm.
"They found 20 plants of some maturity between 75 and 100cm in height with a potential yield of 1,490 and 1,624kg. The value would be between £14,900 and £16,240 in street deals. The defendant was arrested and said the plants were hers for medical use.
"Police accepted her basis of plea. Her last conviction is from January 2019 where she received a community order for failing to ensure her child attends regularly at school. The prosecution ask for forfeiture and destruction of the drugs. She appears to fall within a lesser role and there was some pressure or coercion."
In mitigation, defence barrister Stephen Williams said: "This defendant is clearly a vulnerable woman. She is a single parent looking after two children. She is unfortunate and has been the victim of more than one abusive relationship.
"She found herself in a position where she was under a lot of pressure, had misplaced loyalty to him and allowed herself to be used.
"She is a woman who needs support, craves support and responds to support. She is a woman who can reform."
Sentencing Judge Richard Mansell QC said: "You were involved in the farm under direction and some pressure. I am not going to send you to prison and am going to make a community order instead.
"You need help and have had difficulties over the years. You have been treated badly in relationships and subject to violence. I am happy you can be monitored in the community."
Featured Image Credit: Cavendish Press