A Horncastle couple set up a cannabis farm in the loft of their town centre flat in a bid to pay off their debts, a court was told today (Wednesday).
Pauline Boddy, 67, and her husband David, 78, converted two rooms of their loft into growing areas and installed specialist lighting and a hydroponics system to establish an all-year round growing system.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that when police raided the property in Wharf Road, Horncastle, they discovered 134 cannabis plants which had the potential to produce cannabis with a street value of £67,500.
Jeremy Jaines, prosecuting, told a jury that the set-up was a “family affair”.
David Boddy passed away in August 2013 just eight months after the police raided the couple. At the time of his death police inquiries were still continuing and it was only later that as decision was made to charge his wife.
She denied production of cannabis between October 2012 and January 2013 but she was found guilty following a trial.
The jury rejected her claim that she had no knowledge of the equipment being installed and that when she discovered what happened she merely turned a “blind eye”.
Judge John Pini QC jailed Pauline Boddy for two years but said David Boddy “undoubtedly” was also involved and but for his death would also have faced prosecution.
In passing sentence the judge said: “This was a family affair. What the police found was a very professional growing set up.
“This was joint production by you and your husband. Your husband may have had the initial idea to grow these drugs as a means of paying off debts but I’m sure you went along with it.
“You were not a drug user neither was your husband. This was for onward commercial sale. It was an enterprise motivated by financial advantage. The operation was capable of producing significant quantities of cannabis.
“There has to be a custodial sentence for production on this scale. I would be failing in my public duty if I did otherwise.
Christopher Geeson, defending, said his client has been widowed since her arrest and faces the possibility of losing her entire assets due to confiscation proceedings being taken against her.
“She is someone who, at the age of 67, has lost her impeccable character. Justice has not been speedy in this case. It is two years since this offence.”