Updated: Monday, 19th August 2019 @ 10:17am

Burnage couple found guilty of cannabis production forced to pay back £18,000 of ill-gotten gains

Burnage couple found guilty of cannabis production forced to pay back £18,000 of ill-gotten gains

By Felicity Robertson

A Burnage couple have been ordered to pay back £18,000 in ill-gotten gains after being jailed for cultivating cannabis farm.

Francis Joyce, 44, and Caroline Stephens, also 44, both of May drive, Burnage, pleaded guilty to the production of a Class B drug.

Officers from the Gorton and Levenshulme neighbourhood policing team and drugs unit staff executed a warrant for a flat on Burnage Lane, rented by Joyce.

Police discovered an eco-system with cannabis plants in the front and back bedroom. A warrant was then executed for another address on May Drive where Stephens was discovered with a small cannabis farm.

A ‘mother plant’ was also found which is used to take clippings to grow cannabis plants. There were also numerous snap bags presumably used to package the drugs.

Joyce has been jailed for five years and two months while Stephens has been sentenced to two years and eight months.

They have also been ordered by Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) to pay back £18,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

If they fail to make the payment within six months, Joyce will face another four months in jail and Stephens a further eight.

Financial Investigator Dave Coulthard, said: "This is further evidence that Greater Manchester Police will do everything possible to ensure that criminals do not profit from their illegal activities."

Joyce's son Christopher, 26, also of May Drive, was jailed for five years at an earlier hearing for possession of drugs with intent to supply.