Cannabis 'tree' grower behind bars

A man who grew a large cannabis plant to look like a Christmas tree will spend the festive season behind bars after police found his home-based drug factory.

Ian Richards, 46, made the cannabis plant resemble a festive tree by growing it to 5ft tall and decorating it with brightly coloured baubles.

Police found it along with a small number of other cannabis plants when they raided his home in Attlee Avenue, Aylesham, near Canterbury, Kent, last December.

Investigating officer Pc Darren Dennett, of Kent Police, said: "By using a 5ft tall cannabis plant as a Christmas tree, Richards showed a total disregard for the law."

A judge at Canterbury Crown Court sentenced Richards to 18 months behind bars for drugs offences on November 24, a Kent Police spokesman said.

Pc Dennett added: "One of the bedrooms at his home had been transformed into a very sophisticated cannabis factory.

"He claimed the plants were for his own personal use but the factory clearly had the potential to produce a large quantity of cannabis.

"He is now spending his Christmas in prison, and by closing down this cannabis factory we have prevented a large quantity of Class B drugs from reaching the streets."