Stalybridge father and son sentenced after £145,000 of cannabis seized from secret underground basement

By Danielle Wainwright

A father and son who grew £145,000 worth of cannabis from their underground basement hidden within their property were sentenced on Friday.

Trevor Winterbottom, 68, of Wakefield Road, Stalybridge, and Trevor Lee Winterbottom, 31, of St Georges Street, Stalybridge, admitted producing a controlled drug with Winterbottom snr also admitting abstracting electricity at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Officers attended a ten acre farm off Harrop Edge Road owned by Winterbottom snr on Wednesday January 23 at around 12.50pm following reports of suspicious activity.

The property, situated at the top of a single track road, was covered in snow when police arrived and the two men were arrested in a wooden outbuilding. Officers discovered a basement excavated beneath the building accessible by a hatch with the use of ladders.

Detective Constable Marc Barker said: “By his own admission Trevor Senior admitted digging up his land and creating a makeshift cellar when the crop he had been growing in his house became too big.

“A crude yet fully functioning structure complete with a sophisticated lightening system was built beneath one of the out buildings and was extremely well hidden.”

Officers discovered 200 mature plants being grown. Electricity that was being used to power lights above the plants was being abstracted from a nearby source. A number of other cannabis plants were also recovered from inside the address. 

Winterbottom snr was jailed for 45 months and Winterbottom junior was given a community order for 12 months and ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work.

DC Baker added: “Their sole intention was to cultivate a large amount of cannabis and had we not acted when we did their crop would have seen them make a considerable amount of cash.” 

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