Belfast man jailed for ‘sophisticated’ cannabis growing operation

The justice system

The justice system

A Belfast man has been jailed following the discovery of a “sophisticated” cannabis growing operation in his home.

David Jenkins admitted two charges arising from a police search at his then Canmore Close home in the Shankill area of the city in April 2015.

The 36-year old – who Belfast Crown Court heard was a long-term cannabis user – admitted cultivating plants, and dishonestly using electricity.

Handing Jenkins a sentence of two years and eight months – split between 16 months in prison and 16 months on post-release licence – Her Honour Judge McCaffrey said it was apparent that the operation had been “ongoing for some time”.

Crown prosecutor Philip Henry said that when police searched Jenkins’ home on April 30, 2015, they discovered a “sophisticated operation”. A total of 58 mature cannabis plants were located in one room, while an additional 80 seedlings were growing in another room.

Mr Henry said that the presence of plants at different stages of development indicated “this was not a one-off”.

The prosecutor told Her Honour Judge McCaffrey that other items and equipment associated with the cultivation of cannabis – including a humidifier, heat lamps and an irrigation system – were also in the house.

In addition, windows at the property had been covered over with black plastic sheeting in a bid to conceal the growing operation.

The court heard a drugs expert from the PSNI branded the operation as “well established, complex and professional”.

Jenkins, who now lives at Malvern Close, was told to participate in a drugs and alcohol counselling and treatment programme after his release on licence.