Mum convicted of child neglect after turning Accrington home into a cannabis farm (From Blackburn Citizen)
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Mum convicted of child neglect after turning Accrington home into a cannabis farm
A MOTHER whose two-and-a-half year old daughter was left living in the middle of a cannabis farm has been convicted of child neglect.
Cannabis leaves were left to dry in the living room, in front of the youngster, and an electricity meter had been bypassed leaving exposed wires, Burnley Crown Court was told.
Social services have since placed the child in care and she will now be put up for adoption — the same fate has befallen the woman’s other three children.
The mother, aged 30, from Accrington, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted child neglect, production of cannabis and abstracting electricity. She was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 150 hours community service. She will also be under probation service supervision for a year.
Passing sentence, Recorder Andrew Thomas QC, said the mother had created an ‘unsafe environment’ for her daughter.
And while there were no signs of physical harm, when the girl was examined by a paediatrician, there were signs of neglect and the psychological harm of her growing up in the midst of a cannabis farm was evident he told the court.
Prosecutor Sarah Statham said police were alerted to the case by a social worker who had visited the mother’s home.
Not only did she detect the heavy smell of cannabis but she also observed that the electricity meter had been bypassed leaving exposed wires.
Police later executed a search warrant at the property and found the meter, along with 15 plants growing in a cupboard in the mother’s bedroom.
Miss Statham said there was also a small washing basket containing drying cannabis leaves, retrieved from the living rooms.
Martin Hackett, defending, said his client had already been heavily punished by the loss of her fourth child but accepted it was her own fault.