Jailed: Shropshire businesswoman, 45, set up cannabis farm

Bridgnorth | News | Published:

A businesswoman who set up a cannabis factory at a farm in Shropshire to ease her financial difficulties has been jailed for four years.

Mother-of-two Angela Bates got involved after the family ran into difficulties keeping up their luxury lifestyle following the collapse of a business.

She roped in her husband Simon Bates and her brother Keith Taylor, who looked after the plants, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard yesterday.

Mr Anthony Cartin, prosecuting, said the cannabis factory came to light when Taylor was stopped on the A454 at Rudge Heath on January 21 last year.

Police also determined Taylor had been at Catstree Farm in Worfield, near Bridgnorth, where the Bates family lived.

Mr Cartin said 72 plants were found in an outbuilding at the home with the potential to harvest three crops per year, yielding a potential gain of up to £145,000 every year.

When Angela Bates' bank records were examined cash deposits totalling nearly £60,000 between April 2013 and January 2014 could not be accounted for.

Angela Bates, 45, had admitted conspiring to produce cannabis, abstracting electricity and money laundering at a previous hearing. Taylor, 49, admitted conspiring to produce cannabis and abstracting electricity, while Simon Bates, also 49, admitted allowing premises to be used for the production of cannabis.

Angela Bates was jailed for four years and Taylor 14 months. Simon Bates received an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and 200 hours of unpaid work.

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