Drugs found in secret bunker

A cannabis farm.
A cannabis farm.

A secret cannabis farm was found hidden in an underground bunker by police who had called round on an unrelated matter, a court has heard.

Officers went to the Wigan home of Jamie Gallagher last summer over the suspected handling of a stolen caravan and while there found the illicit cannabis enterprise.

A total of 16 plants were found in the bunker which was beneath a shed under a trap door, down a ladder and behind a secured metal door, said Ben Jones, prosecuting.

Gallagher, 24, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity to power the heating and lighting for the operation.

The court heard that it was estimated that more than £900 worth of electricity had been stolen in this way before the July 2 raid,

Gallagher claimed that the cannabis was being grown for his own use but the judge, Recorder Chris Hudson said that he was not persuaded that it was to satisfy his personal habit.

He adjourned the case until April 29 when a hearing will be held to try the issue of whether or not it was being grown for commercial use.

The judge warned Gallagher, of Cale Lane, Aspull, that the fact he was renewing his bail should not be taken as an indication of how he would be dealt with.

He said: “All sentencing options, including immediate custody, remain open.”

The prosecution offered no evidence on the charge of handling a stolen caravan and a formal not guilty verdict was recorded.