30 August 2002

Family diversified into creation of cannabis factory

A FARMING family who grew an extra-strong variety of illegal cannabis took the governments advice to diversify a little too far, a court heard.

Winchester Crown Court was told that members of the family raked in at least £270,000 from a sophisticated indoor operation over 15 months before a police raid in February last year.

Charles Gabb, prosecuting, said: "This case is about a diversification that perhaps the government didnt have quite in mind, a family who took the exhortations to diversify a little too far. They set up a cannabis factory or farm."

John Stroud, 64, Patricia Stroud, 62 and Simon Stroud, of Summerdale Farm, Liss, Hants, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis. One family member, Jonathan Stroud, 39, an electrician from Chineham, Basingstoke, Hants, denied the charge.

The case continues. &#42