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North Watford cannabis-grower, Michael Oxley, breaks down in tears at two-year jail term
A man convicted of running a cannabis factory at a flat in north Watford broke down in tears when he was jailed for two years on Friday.
Michael Oxley, 42 still maintains his innocence to the charge despite being convicted by a jury on what a Judge described was “overwhelming evidence”.
Oxley, of Gammons Lane, Watford was convicted after a trial last month at Luton crown court, of producing the Class B drug and abstracting electricity.
With him in the dock was 33-year-old Ben Francis-Hudson from Everall Close, Hemel Hempstead who was found guilty of the same two charges after the trial.
Recorder Stephen Rubin QC said he played a much lesser role and passed an 18 month prison sentence suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work and £500 costs.
During the trial the jury heard how a flat in The Phillipers, Garston was rented in July 2011 in a woman's name but was converted to grow cannabis plants by Oxley and others.
He also tended the plants and was involved in unlawfully abstracting electricity.
When it was raided by police in October 2011, there were 70 plants growing. It was not clear how many of the plants would have given a yield of saleable cannabis, so no value could be put on the crop.
Recorder Rubin told Oxley: "You advanced a bogus defence that was littered with lies, but I am sure you were central to this cannabis factory and took substantial responsibility for setting up the equipment and tending the plants.
"You are persisting in your absurd denials, but I have also read letters about you which show there are aspects of your life which are worthy and productive.
"I have given consideration to suspending the sentence but given the attitude you have displayed and your persistence in denying your role, it would be quite wrong to suspend the sentence."
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