Cradley father and son convicted over drugs

First published in Local

A DRUG dealing father and son from Cradley who ran a £100,000 cannabis factory have been convicted after a bungling a getaway from police.

Mark Smith and friend Andrew Harper were jailed this week but son Keiron was handed a suspended sentence.

Mark Smith, aged 45, of Western Road, Cradley Heath, and 46-year-old Andrew Harper, who lived at the house where the cannabis was being grown, both pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and were jailed for 18 months each.

Smith further admitted a charge of careless driving after he was involved in a slight collision with a police patrol car trying to block him in as the three men tried to evade capture.

Amandeep Chima, aged 30, of Spring Parklands, Dudley, also admitted being involved in the production of cannabis and he was given a 12 month jail term suspended for two years.

Keiron Smith, aged 19, of Severn Road, Colley Gate, admitted possessing heroin and he was given 12 months in a young offenders institution suspended for two years with 100 hours unpaid work in the community.

Gerald Bermingham, prosecuting, told the court police were keeping observations when they saw Kieron Smith use a key to let himself into the house in Stourbridge Road.

He emerged carrying a package that turned out to be the heroin and he got into a Vauxhall Vectra being driven by his father which sped off after he ignored police demands to stop.

Mr Bermingham said: "The Vectra was followed by the police as it overtook other cars on the wrong side of the road before being forced to stop by a police van parked across the street."

He said Andrew Harper arrived at the property after the Vauxhall had driven away from the scene and he was quickly arrested by the officers.

Mr Bermingham who added that sufficient hydroponic equipment for another drug farm was recovered from the home of Mark Smith.

Nicola Steers, for Kieron Smith, a man with no previous convictions, said he had been asked to go to the property to retrieve an item after being told exactly where to find it.

She added: "He was a young man under the influence of others."

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