Warsop mum allowed loft to be used to grow cannabis in protection deal

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A Warsop mother of four allowed cannabis to be grown in her loft in return for ‘peace of mind’ protection after her former partner sent her threatening letters from prison, a court heard.

Joanna Kimberly Staniforth, 31 of Princess Avenue appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where she pleaded guilty to permitting the attempted production of cannabis.

Staniforth, 31 also admitted illegally abstracting electricity on the same dates between January 1 and April 13 2014.

Magistrates were told Staniforth had been in an abusive relationship and her former partner was now in prison.

She had moved from the Nottinghamshire area to Warsop. He learned of her whereabouts and started sending the menacing letters.

She had been offered help to give her protection if she allowed her loft to be used for growing cannabis and had ‘rather naively’ agreed to enter into the agreement which was not on a monetary basis, for three or four months. The letters from her former partner then stopped.

The person involved with the cannabis plants visited the house when the children were at school and air vents in the loft took away any smell, the court heard.

When she was arrested Staniforth had made a full and frank admission to police.

The court heard police found her electricity meter had been bridged, which she said she found out about just days before her arrest.

Staniforth, who admitted she had behaved naively accepted responsibility to repay the electricity estimated at £575 over the period.

She said the cannabis plants had failed as they had become infested with spider mites.

Sentencing Staniforth to a two month community order with a two month curfew requirement, the lead magistrate told her: “You have to seriously think about what you do in future because of the impact it would have on your family.”