A “ROBIN Hood” couple who jetted off to Kenya and dished out money to villagers and charities from the proceeds of their farmhouse cannabis factory have been jailed for three years.
Michael Foster, 62, and Susan Cooper, 63, pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds during the sophisticated six year operation – but used much of their ill-gotten money to help locals in the Kenyan village where they were regular visitors.
In what was described in court as the “most unusual cannabis growing case of its type”, the couple paid for life-saving surgery, bought computers for a local eye hospital and secured schooling for poor children.
But the pair were living an incredible double life selling wholesale kilo deals of cannabis grown at their Lincolnshire farmhouse to a local drugs baron.
Prosecutor Jon Dee told Lincoln Crown Court: “This couple were both in their 60s and were of previous good character.
“It perhaps can be best summed up by Mr Foster who told police in his own words during his interview that this started off as a hobby and turned into a business.
In a fateful twist the do-gooding pair were only caught when a police officer pursuing a burglar near the couple’s picturesque home in Long Sutton, Lincs, recognised the distinctive cannabis smell coming from the property.
Mr Dee admitted: “At the time this couple were completely off the police radar. They were caught completely by chance but it was a professional commercial set up.”
When the officer knocked on the farmhouse door Mrs Cooper, a divorcee, answered and replied “Yes I do” when the officer asked if she knew why he was there.
Inside police found 159 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of around Â£20,000. Two of the buildings had been converted into a growing room and drying room. Officers also recovered Â£20,000 in Â£1,000 bundles from a carrier bag.