Leeds landlord’s £20,000 drugs crop shame

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A landlord was caught red-handed growing over £20,000 of cannabis in rooms above his pub.

Dean Durno, 46, was arrested after a police officer picked up the pungent smell of the class B drug as he walked past the Brittania pub, in Holbeck, Leeds.

The officer managed to gain entry to the upper rooms of the pub despite being barracked by tap room regulars and bar staff trying to throw him off the scent.

Durno was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to being concerned in the production of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Jessica Strange, prosecuting, said the officer was patrolling in Holbeck on January 17 when he noticed a strong smell and went into the pub and asked if anyone was living upstairs.

A member of staff told him to come back later but he insisted on going upstairs, only to be told it was locked.

The officer went outside and spotted a man’s head through an upstairs window and rang the pub’s telephone. He walked back inside and heard the phone ringing behind the locked door.

Durno answered and told the officer: “Oh dear, you have caught me red-handed. No point in denying it. You might as well come up.”

He was about to harvest 67 plants worth £19,000 of cannabis. There was another stash of drugs worth £3,000 inside the property.

Durno said he looked after plants for other people and would be “in trouble” with them.

Jason Macadam, mitigating, told Judge Geoffrey Marson QC: “He has realised he has been an extremely stupid man by involving himself to the extent he has.”

PA library file dated 09/04/2003 of a man smoking a cigarette. A leading medical journal, Friday December 5, 2003, called for an outright ban on smoking and cigarettes. The Lancet editorial pointed out that 80% of people in the UK were non-smokers. They had "the right to freedom from exposure to proven carcinogens," said the journal. See PA story SCIENCE Smoking. PA Photo.

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