Cannabis church seized by CPS

21/01/2010

A man using a disused church as a cannabis farm has been given a two year jail sentence and had his assets seized.

Paul Pratt, 44, owned the former church in Blackhill, Consett where police found he was using seven rooms to cultivating cannabis plants, illegally tapping into the electricity supply to heat and light the crop.

After being sentenced at Durham Crown Court, an order was successfully made under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize the church, estimated to be worth more than £100,000.

The electricity company will also receive compensation of £15,000.

Speaking after the case, Crown Advocate for CPS Durham Chris Williamson who prosecuted the case, said: "The cannabis grown in this disused church could have ended up on County Durham's streets. Not only has Paul Pratt's illegal activities been brought to an abrupt halt, but weve been successful in seizing his assets."