Cannabis factory found at Hereford house after chimney fire

A CANNABIS factory in Hereford was found by emergency services after the chimney at the house caught fire, a court has heard.

Firefighters were called to Moor Street in the early hours of the morning on May 1 after flames was seen coming from a chimney breast of one of the mid-terrace houses, prosecutor Shafquat Reaz said.

Police then found eight cannabis plants inside one bedroom, as well as what the officer considered a “professional and complex electric set up” on the landing.

There were also UV lights, irrigation systems, fans mounted to walls and sophisticated timers, Mr Reaz said.

Marek Oleksy, who told police at the scene he had only been renting the house for two weeks, pleaded guilty to one count of producing Class B drug cannabis at Hereford magistrates court on Wednesday (May 19).

Mr Reaz argued Oleksy, 35, was in a “leading” role of cannabis production, due to the expense and professionalism of the set up.

He said despite there only being eight plants, there was capacity to expect financial gain.

George Cousins, for Oleksy, said he was not in a leading role as there was no chain of supply and the cannabis was only for personal use so there was not going to be any financial gain.

He said the plants would only be expected to make £300 if sold, so Oleksy “wasn’t going to be a millionaire from eight plants”.

Magistrates in Hereford said the offence was serious, aggravated by the fact Oleksy was in breach of a suspended sentence.

They said there was special equipment and a complex set up, with potential output of the factory “far greater” that the eight plants found.

Oleksy will be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court at a later date.

Hereford Times