Mark Terry, the owner of CEP Catering Supplies, appeared at Truro Crown Court last Friday, 21 August, having admitted a charge of cannabis production.
Police officers had attended CEP Catering Supplies’ premises in Penzance on 14 June 2019 after receiving reports of a strong cannabis smell coming from the property.
Once inside, the officers discovered 33 cannabis plants and a cannabis flowering head with a total value of up to £93,000 inside a sealed tent in the basement.
Terry was renting the property to renovate catering equipment in a self-employed role.
Local news outlet, Cornwall Live, reported that during the court case, it was revealed that Terry had purchased equipment to grow cannabis in 2017 and 2018, while unexplained cash deposits of over £43,000 were made between 2013 and 2019.
Apparently he has previous convictions which were not deemed to be relevant to the case.
According to Cornwall Live, Probation officer Tony Ciocci told Judge Simon Carr: “He was a plumber and more recently was renovating catering equipment. The property where the offences occurred was rented to try and develop that further.
“He is in a low point in his life and he has been living in his van.”
Ciocci added that Terry had not benefited as much from the cannabis production as the figures suggested.
The local news outlet further reported that Judge Carr told Terry: “You were trying to run a business which was clearly not successful, and you became involved in the production of cannabis in the basement of the property you rented for other commercial means.
“I doubt you had any real idea of the value of the crop down there. The figures are often way beyond what people understand. This was a modest although professional operation.”
Carr did not send Terry to prison due to his age, lack of previous relevant convictions and his early guilty plea.
Terry was sentenced to 2 years in prison, suspended for 2 years, and told to perform 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 in court costs.