Sentence for Moulton Chapel cannabis farm ‘handyman’ reduced on appeal

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A lorry driver who moonlighted as handyman and troubleshooter at a thriving cannabis farm in Moulton Chapel had his sentence cut by top judges today (Thursday).

Christian Mark Andrews was caged for two and half years at Derby Crown Court last September.

He admitted conspiring to produce and supply cannabis.

Andrews (44), of Mill Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, was part of a gang involved in running two flourishing cannabis farms – one in Moulton Chapel, the other in Hollington, Derbyshire.

The sites, which operated in 2013 and 2014, hosted 442 prime cannabis plants – capable of yielding bumper crops weighing as much as 40 kilos.

Once harvested and marketed, the drugs had a potential street value of over £300,000.

Andrews’ main role was as a “troubleshooter”, helping out at the Moulton Chapel site, London’s Appeal Court heard.

He visited the farm weekly, to maintain its sophisticated electrical and heating system and to ensure the water supply was constant.

“He was a troubleshooter who helped to ensure that the plants flourished,” said Judge David Aubrey QC.

“He had an operational function within the chain,” added the judge, who was sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Mr Justice Goss.

Andrews’ case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged his punishment, saying it was far too harsh.

“We are persuaded that there is some force in the submissions made,” said Judge Aubrey.

Andrews’ “excessive” sentence was cut to two years, of which he will serve half before qualifying for parole.