South Oxhey lorry driver, Dale Siberry, 'unaware' of £250k of cannabis growing in his garage

Watford Observer: South Oxhey man 'unaware' of £250k of cannabis growing in his garage South Oxhey man 'unaware' of £250k of cannabis growing in his garage

A South Oxhey lorry driver was unaware there was quarter of a million pounds of cannabis growing in his garage until just before police came to arrest him, a court heard.

Dale Siberry, 40, who was renting out the garage at the bottom of his garden, said he only spotted the 722 plants just before a police raid in November and had been waiting to confront his tenant.

During a hearing at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, prosecutor David Chrimes said that the cannabis crop would have a street value of around £250,000.

Siberry had been renting the garage to a man called Mark for six months for £100 a month, the court heard.

"There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,” said Mr Chrimes.

“The Crown says he rented the garage out and allowed someone to use it to grow cannabis. He had some knowledge of what was going on.”

Sibbery of Gosforth Path, Watford pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of cannabis.

Defence barrister Samantha Cohen said: "The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account.

"He looked in the garage when he saw that a hose had not been put away and saw the cannabis. He did nothing about it. He waited for Mark to confront him, but the police arrived."

She went on: "He is 40 years old and has never been in trouble before." He had worked for a recovery company associated with the police, but had lost his job on his arrest. Since then he found work as a lorry driver.

Recorder Jonathan Lee told him: "The number of plants means this is in a very serious category. You are of good character and no previous convictions and although the offence crosses the custody threshold it is right to be suspended."

He passed a four month sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered him to carry out 120 hours unpaid work over the next years. He must pay a victim surcharge of £80 and the £400 found by the police when they raided his home was confiscated.

Comments (26)

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12:59pm Mon 16 Dec 13

not a regular says...

Ignorance is not a defence.
Ignorance is not a defence. not a regular

1:12pm Mon 16 Dec 13

G_Whiz says...

not a regular wrote:
Ignorance is not a defence.
Nor, is lying and a man called Mark!
[quote][p][bold]not a regular[/bold] wrote: Ignorance is not a defence.[/p][/quote]Nor, is lying and a man called Mark! G_Whiz

3:13pm Mon 16 Dec 13

CVF420 says...

Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created.

Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)
CVF Media Team
www.facebook.com/cvf
420
Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team www.facebook.com/cvf 420 CVF420

3:16pm Mon 16 Dec 13

CVF420 says...

Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created.

Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)
CVF Media Team
facebook.com/cvf420
Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team facebook.com/cvf420 CVF420

3:17pm Mon 16 Dec 13

G_Whiz says...

CVF420 wrote:
Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created.

Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)
CVF Media Team
www.facebook.com/cvf

420
Two wrongs, don't make a right!
[quote][p][bold]CVF420[/bold] wrote: Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team www.facebook.com/cvf 420[/p][/quote]Two wrongs, don't make a right! G_Whiz

3:17pm Mon 16 Dec 13

G_Whiz says...

CVF420 wrote:
Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created.

Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)
CVF Media Team
www.facebook.com/cvf

420
Two wrongs, don't make a right!
[quote][p][bold]CVF420[/bold] wrote: Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team www.facebook.com/cvf 420[/p][/quote]Two wrongs, don't make a right! G_Whiz

3:57pm Mon 16 Dec 13

not a regular says...

CVF420 wrote:
Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team facebook.com/cvf420
Cannabis, for all its being a sedative, encourages free thought and radical (not like extremism, just imaginative, pensive) ideas. The powers that be sure as hell don't want free thought.
[quote][p][bold]CVF420[/bold] wrote: Another example of wasted police time. The fact is, cannabis is safer for adults to consume than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco, and yet the taxpayer is still expected to pay to lock people up for growing it. Under a legalised and regulated system, thousands of police and court hours would be saved to deal with real crime, and thousands of legal, taxable jobs would also be created. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team facebook.com/cvf420[/p][/quote]Cannabis, for all its being a sedative, encourages free thought and radical (not like extremism, just imaginative, pensive) ideas. The powers that be sure as hell don't want free thought. not a regular

6:39pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Popeonarope says...

The two people i know who smoked this cr@p for some years now are no better than mildly active vegetables as a result of long term abuse of only cannabis. They are unable to exist in anything other than a stoned state of despondent acceptance, living on the governments handouts. The perfect advertisement for the anti-drug drug campaign for those that know them.

It gives the wrong message to some people that these drugs are okay but other drugs are bad. People who make the choice to smoke recreational drugs may advance into stronger, harder alternatives in a peer group that thinks its normal to partake in this pastime.
Until the law is changed it is illegal to grow, sell and / or possess this muck regardless, so it should be, to ensure that people understand if you get caught you get punished.

Maybe we should legalize all drugs and at the same time remove all the safety signs and let the problem sort itself out.
The two people i know who smoked this cr@p for some years now are no better than mildly active vegetables as a result of long term abuse of only cannabis. They are unable to exist in anything other than a stoned state of despondent acceptance, living on the governments handouts. The perfect advertisement for the anti-drug drug campaign for those that know them. It gives the wrong message to some people that these drugs are okay but other drugs are bad. People who make the choice to smoke recreational drugs may advance into stronger, harder alternatives in a peer group that thinks its normal to partake in this pastime. Until the law is changed it is illegal to grow, sell and / or possess this muck regardless, so it should be, to ensure that people understand if you get caught you get punished. Maybe we should legalize all drugs and at the same time remove all the safety signs and let the problem sort itself out. Popeonarope

8:58pm Mon 16 Dec 13

LSC says...

Ha ha, I like the idea of the "Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)", it sounds so dynamic. Picture the scene: A young unemployed (unemployable) lad is stopped by the fascist police because he has taken up burglary when his benefits ran out to feed his habit.

"Help! I am being persecuted and repressed by the government for breaking the law! I'm going to call the Cannabis Volunteer Force!!!"

Some hours later the CVF arrive...

"Sorry I'm late man, got the wrong bus. It was cool though. Now why don't we all just relax and chill out, I brought munchies."
Ha ha, I like the idea of the "Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)", it sounds so dynamic. Picture the scene: A young unemployed (unemployable) lad is stopped by the fascist police because he has taken up burglary when his benefits ran out to feed his habit. "Help! I am being persecuted and repressed by the government for breaking the law! I'm going to call the Cannabis Volunteer Force!!!" Some hours later the CVF arrive... "Sorry I'm late man, got the wrong bus. It was cool though. Now why don't we all just relax and chill out, I brought munchies." LSC

12:45am Tue 17 Dec 13

Honest Rog says...

This is one of three separate reports relating to cannabis in the "most read" on this site. The "war on drugs" has been lost and our tax money wasted on pointless prosecutions. By all means reel in the dealers who enrich themselves at the expense of users and bring production, sales and quality under government control. Granted; a massive policy to embark upon but albeit inevitable and in the long term beneficial to society.
Interesting that in the two other reports there is a common surname of two of the accused. Could be Vietnamese. Have they cornered the production side of things?
This is one of three separate reports relating to cannabis in the "most read" on this site. The "war on drugs" has been lost and our tax money wasted on pointless prosecutions. By all means reel in the dealers who enrich themselves at the expense of users and bring production, sales and quality under government control. Granted; a massive policy to embark upon but albeit inevitable and in the long term beneficial to society. Interesting that in the two other reports there is a common surname of two of the accused. Could be Vietnamese. Have they cornered the production side of things? Honest Rog

8:01am Tue 17 Dec 13

Dr Martin says...

why do cannabis growers/smokers think they are above the law?
why do cannabis growers/smokers think they are above the law? Dr Martin

9:24am Tue 17 Dec 13

LSC says...

Honest Rog wrote:
This is one of three separate reports relating to cannabis in the "most read" on this site. The "war on drugs" has been lost and our tax money wasted on pointless prosecutions. By all means reel in the dealers who enrich themselves at the expense of users and bring production, sales and quality under government control. Granted; a massive policy to embark upon but albeit inevitable and in the long term beneficial to society.
Interesting that in the two other reports there is a common surname of two of the accused. Could be Vietnamese. Have they cornered the production side of things?
One of the reason for the war on drugs is the side effects such as people trafficking (often Vietnamese) who are then used literally as slaves to tend the crops. Their documents, if they had any, are withheld and they are forced to work for nothing. They also take the rap when the operation is discovered.

THAT is the type of criminal scum who run the cannabis business, and everyone knows it. So in my book, anyone who smokes cannabis is KNOWINGLY encouraging the slave trade and human misery and that makes them every bit as bad.
Of course, if they weren't addicted they would stop smoking it for now and persue legalization through the courts. Then, when legal, they can smoke it without anyone getting hurt.
But they can't, can they? They would rather fund slavery, prostitution, extortion and murder to get their little 'harmless' fix.
[quote][p][bold]Honest Rog[/bold] wrote: This is one of three separate reports relating to cannabis in the "most read" on this site. The "war on drugs" has been lost and our tax money wasted on pointless prosecutions. By all means reel in the dealers who enrich themselves at the expense of users and bring production, sales and quality under government control. Granted; a massive policy to embark upon but albeit inevitable and in the long term beneficial to society. Interesting that in the two other reports there is a common surname of two of the accused. Could be Vietnamese. Have they cornered the production side of things?[/p][/quote]One of the reason for the war on drugs is the side effects such as people trafficking (often Vietnamese) who are then used literally as slaves to tend the crops. Their documents, if they had any, are withheld and they are forced to work for nothing. They also take the rap when the operation is discovered. THAT is the type of criminal scum who run the cannabis business, and everyone knows it. So in my book, anyone who smokes cannabis is KNOWINGLY encouraging the slave trade and human misery and that makes them every bit as bad. Of course, if they weren't addicted they would stop smoking it for now and persue legalization through the courts. Then, when legal, they can smoke it without anyone getting hurt. But they can't, can they? They would rather fund slavery, prostitution, extortion and murder to get their little 'harmless' fix. LSC

12:40pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Smilingburkinshaw says...

The guy is 40, never been in trouble with the Police, had no forensic link to the garage, had no money in his bank account, had obviously not been dealing.

Sounds like he got a raw deal if I'm honest.

So he rented his garage out, even if he did know what was going on (which it seems he didn't) does that make him responsible? Was the person that sewed the Nazis socks or built their guns responsible for the heinous crimes of the people that wore them or fired them??
The guy is 40, never been in trouble with the Police, had no forensic link to the garage, had no money in his bank account, had obviously not been dealing. Sounds like he got a raw deal if I'm honest. So he rented his garage out, even if he did know what was going on (which it seems he didn't) does that make him responsible? Was the person that sewed the Nazis socks or built their guns responsible for the heinous crimes of the people that wore them or fired them?? Smilingburkinshaw

1:28pm Tue 17 Dec 13

G_Whiz says...

Smilingburkinshaw wrote:
The guy is 40, never been in trouble with the Police, had no forensic link to the garage, had no money in his bank account, had obviously not been dealing.

Sounds like he got a raw deal if I'm honest.

So he rented his garage out, even if he did know what was going on (which it seems he didn't) does that make him responsible? Was the person that sewed the Nazis socks or built their guns responsible for the heinous crimes of the people that wore them or fired them??
Haha - Naivety at it's finest!
[quote][p][bold]Smilingburkinshaw[/bold] wrote: The guy is 40, never been in trouble with the Police, had no forensic link to the garage, had no money in his bank account, had obviously not been dealing. Sounds like he got a raw deal if I'm honest. So he rented his garage out, even if he did know what was going on (which it seems he didn't) does that make him responsible? Was the person that sewed the Nazis socks or built their guns responsible for the heinous crimes of the people that wore them or fired them??[/p][/quote]Haha - Naivety at it's finest! G_Whiz

3:25pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Smilingburkinshaw says...

G_Whiz wrote:
Smilingburkinshaw wrote:
The guy is 40, never been in trouble with the Police, had no forensic link to the garage, had no money in his bank account, had obviously not been dealing.

Sounds like he got a raw deal if I'm honest.

So he rented his garage out, even if he did know what was going on (which it seems he didn't) does that make him responsible? Was the person that sewed the Nazis socks or built their guns responsible for the heinous crimes of the people that wore them or fired them??
Haha - Naivety at it's finest!
Why? No link to him cultivating this crop or dealing, that's the crime here.
[quote][p][bold]G_Whiz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Smilingburkinshaw[/bold] wrote: The guy is 40, never been in trouble with the Police, had no forensic link to the garage, had no money in his bank account, had obviously not been dealing. Sounds like he got a raw deal if I'm honest. So he rented his garage out, even if he did know what was going on (which it seems he didn't) does that make him responsible? Was the person that sewed the Nazis socks or built their guns responsible for the heinous crimes of the people that wore them or fired them??[/p][/quote]Haha - Naivety at it's finest![/p][/quote]Why? No link to him cultivating this crop or dealing, that's the crime here. Smilingburkinshaw

3:32pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Smilingburkinshaw says...

''There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,”

That's from the PROSECUTOR!!!!

The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account.
''There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,” That's from the PROSECUTOR!!!! The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account. Smilingburkinshaw

4:12pm Tue 17 Dec 13

LSC says...

Smilingburkinshaw wrote:
''There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,”

That's from the PROSECUTOR!!!!

The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account.
They confiscated £400 CASH which he obviously couldn't account for, which might explain the bank account.
He plead guilty.
Nobody with a brain cell would use their own phone for such things. A nice untraceable pay-as-you-go, well hidden or with a friend would suffice.
There is no mention in the report of the 'leccy bill which should have been a give away.
[quote][p][bold]Smilingburkinshaw[/bold] wrote: ''There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,” That's from the PROSECUTOR!!!! The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account.[/p][/quote]They confiscated £400 CASH which he obviously couldn't account for, which might explain the bank account. He plead guilty. Nobody with a brain cell would use their own phone for such things. A nice untraceable pay-as-you-go, well hidden or with a friend would suffice. There is no mention in the report of the 'leccy bill which should have been a give away. LSC

4:57pm Tue 17 Dec 13

ObserverOfWatfordLife says...

Rented out to Michael Oakley???!!!
Rented out to Michael Oakley???!!! ObserverOfWatfordLife

4:58pm Tue 17 Dec 13

ObserverOfWatfordLife says...

or even Michael Oxley....
or even Michael Oxley.... ObserverOfWatfordLife

5:51pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Smilingburkinshaw says...

LSC wrote:
Smilingburkinshaw wrote:
''There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,”

That's from the PROSECUTOR!!!!

The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account.
They confiscated £400 CASH which he obviously couldn't account for, which might explain the bank account.
He plead guilty.
Nobody with a brain cell would use their own phone for such things. A nice untraceable pay-as-you-go, well hidden or with a friend would suffice.
There is no mention in the report of the 'leccy bill which should have been a give away.
Maybe ill advised to plead Guilty - We'll never know I guess.

Maybe the £400 was his rent for the garage which they would obviously confiscate.
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Smilingburkinshaw[/bold] wrote: ''There is no forensic evidence that links him to the garage and there is no evidence of him dealing or producing the drugs,” That's from the PROSECUTOR!!!! The crown and the police set out to disprove his defence that he did not know what was growing in his garage, but they were unable to do so. There was nothing found on his mobile phone to indicate drug dealing and nothing in his bank account.[/p][/quote]They confiscated £400 CASH which he obviously couldn't account for, which might explain the bank account. He plead guilty. Nobody with a brain cell would use their own phone for such things. A nice untraceable pay-as-you-go, well hidden or with a friend would suffice. There is no mention in the report of the 'leccy bill which should have been a give away.[/p][/quote]Maybe ill advised to plead Guilty - We'll never know I guess. Maybe the £400 was his rent for the garage which they would obviously confiscate. Smilingburkinshaw

10:17pm Tue 17 Dec 13

LSC says...

Maybe, and maybe. If the £400 was from rent that means he hadn't checked his own property for 4 months. At the bottom of his garden. I've heard of lazy landlords, but that is pushing it.
Maybe, and maybe. If the £400 was from rent that means he hadn't checked his own property for 4 months. At the bottom of his garden. I've heard of lazy landlords, but that is pushing it. LSC

6:05am Wed 18 Dec 13

Smilingburkinshaw says...

At the end of the day he's been sentenced so be happy. Or are you demanding he should have got life imprisonment for this? I would have gone not guilty - nothing was proved, innocent till proved guilty, beyond all doubt etc etc
At the end of the day he's been sentenced so be happy. Or are you demanding he should have got life imprisonment for this? I would have gone not guilty - nothing was proved, innocent till proved guilty, beyond all doubt etc etc Smilingburkinshaw

10:42am Wed 18 Dec 13

LSC says...

Yes, perhaps he should have. I think the sentence was about right in this case. Although I don't understand the victim surcharge part of it; until the stuff hits the streets, I don't see a victim.
Yes, perhaps he should have. I think the sentence was about right in this case. Although I don't understand the victim surcharge part of it; until the stuff hits the streets, I don't see a victim. LSC

11:52am Wed 18 Dec 13

Smilingburkinshaw says...

For me they couldn't prove he knew anything about it, even if he did. So not guilty. Therefore sentence harsh as previously stated
For me they couldn't prove he knew anything about it, even if he did. So not guilty. Therefore sentence harsh as previously stated Smilingburkinshaw

12:38pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

Smilingburkinshaw wrote:
For me they couldn't prove he knew anything about it, even if he did. So not guilty. Therefore sentence harsh as previously stated
Sounds like he washed his hands of it after he lost his sense of smell.
[quote][p][bold]Smilingburkinshaw[/bold] wrote: For me they couldn't prove he knew anything about it, even if he did. So not guilty. Therefore sentence harsh as previously stated[/p][/quote]Sounds like he washed his hands of it after he lost his sense of smell. Cuetip

5:45pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Dr Martin says...

Smilingburkinshaw wrote:
For me they couldn't prove he knew anything about it, even if he did. So not guilty. Therefore sentence harsh as previously stated
who cares if it was too harsh
[quote][p][bold]Smilingburkinshaw[/bold] wrote: For me they couldn't prove he knew anything about it, even if he did. So not guilty. Therefore sentence harsh as previously stated[/p][/quote]who cares if it was too harsh Dr Martin

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