Mepal Businessman Jailed For Selling Cannabis Growing Equipment
A MEPAL businessman who made thousands of pounds marketing and selling cannabis growing equipment on the internet has been jailed. Jason Kirby, 36, of New Road, Chatteris was jailed for 14 months after admitting to conspiracy to incite the production of c
A MEPAL businessman who made thousands of pounds marketing and selling cannabis growing equipment on the internet has been jailed.
Jason Kirby, 36, of New Road, Chatteris was jailed for 14 months after admitting to conspiracy to incite the production of cannabis between 2005 and 2006.
Derby Crown Court heard that Kirby was selling equipment through his Mepal-based internet business Thermal Grow UK, which was turning over in the region of �200'000 a year and was designed to be used for growing cannabis.
Inside his warehouse he stored equipment including a hydroponics growing system called Chameleon.
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"It was a disguised integrated growing system, which looked like a wardrobe," said Andrew Peet, prosecuting.
Mr Peet told the court that the equipment sold by Kirby clearly indicated it was for growing cannabis.
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Inquiries into the Mepal warehouse began in 2007 after Cambridgeshire police launched raids both on Kirby's house and warehouse and a simultaneous but unrelated raid on a Chatteris industrial estate which uncovered a 'cannabis factory'.
Following the raid on Kirby's house he appeared before Fenland magistrates for possessing cannabis, a drug he said he had been using cannabis since the age of 12.
"I am glad I have been caught," he told magistrates at the time. "It has woken me up and made me realise I can't stay like this".
However, police followed through inquiries at his internet company after an approach from Derbyshire police who had charged some others with running a hydroponics business.
Stephen Ferguson, appearing for Kirby at Derby Crown Court, said his client's business had started out legitimately and had he sold the same equipment slightly differently he would "not have transgressed the criminal law. He crossed the line and that is why he's here today."
A second defendant, student Michael Korn, 33, was given a suspended sentence for helping Kirby to advertise his products.