Peter Fardell and Christine Hurley stunned neighbours by turning their home into a cannabis factory
Residents in the quiet, leafy avenue regarded 58-year-old Peter Fardell as a “keen gardener”.
But beneath the veil of respectability, he and his partner Christine Hurley had turned their terraced home into a professional scale drugs operation.
Police raided the £275,000 property in Worthing, West Sussex, and seized 162 cannabis plants, Hove Crown Court heard.
The couple turned their terraced home into a professional scale drugs operation
Officers also found five bags stuffed with the dried drug.
Nicola Shannon, prosecuting, said the contents of the bags “gave an indication of the previous harvest”.
She added: “We are satisfied this was a successful production not a case of amateur gardening.”
Fardell admitted producing cannabis and 72-year-old Hurley admitted allowing her three-bedroom home to be used to grow drugs.
Police raided the property and seized 162 cannabis plants, Hove Crown Court heard
Officers also found five bags stuffed with the dried drug
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Ms Shannon told the court: “These two were partners and living together.
We are satisfied this was a successful production not a case of amateur gardening
“A search warrant was executed and 162 plants were found – 42 were mature and 120 less mature.”
Rowan Jenkins, defending Fardell, told the court: “The reality of this case is that he in fact is a keen gardener and enjoys growing plants and was growing them for himself and a friend.”
Fardell insists Hurley did not benefit from the drugs operation.
Fardell admitted producing cannabis and Hurley admitted allowing her home to be used to grow drugs
Judge Jeremy Gold, QC, was told both Fardell and Hurley have no previous convictions.
He will sentence them next month after reports by the Probation Service.
The unassuming mock Tudor three bedroom terrace Hurley and Fardell share looks much the same as its neighbours with rows of porcelain ornaments filling the front garden.
One neighbour commented: “They just look like an ordinary nice, law-abiding couple.
“I never would have thought they were doing anything like that.”