Businessman’s £17k cannabis farm scheme

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AN ALLEGED blackmail victim has admitted in court that he was a cannabis farmer.

David Williamson agreed that a cannabis farm was found at his Wigan home during cross-examination by Steven Breheny’s barrister.

The 40-year-old businessman is on trial at Liverpool Crown Court facing nine charges including demanding £10,000 cash from Mr Williamson along with his Audi A3, worth just over £10,000 in May last year.

Mr Williamson has claimed that the demands were made during a telephone call and followed up with repeated threats which made him so scared he did not go home for several days.

He said that although he did know Breheny he did not know why the demands were being made. While being questioned, he admitted that around the same time, on May 11, he had been arrested because police arrived at his home in Lorne Street, Scholes, to investigate reports of a burglary and found 35 cannabis plants.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Breheny had told police about the cannabis farm. Mr Williamson agreed that May 11 was the same day he had discovered that his home had been entered and the spare key for the Audi and its log book had been taken.

The cannabis plants had a potential yield worth £17,000 and electricity had been illegally used to power the sophisticated operation but he denied that the front and back doors had been wired up.

The charges that Breheny, of Whittle Lane, Parbold, denies including demanding money with menaces from two men, making threats to kill, intimidation, assault, criminal damage and conspiracy to steal vehicles. Alongside him in the dock is Paul Sutton, 48, of Twogood Lane, Wrightington, who only faces the conspiracy charge, which he denies.