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Man who set up Cambridgeshire's biggest-ever cannabis factory is jailed

The cannabis farm at Benwick Road in Whittlesey.
The cannabis farm at Benwick Road in Whittlesey. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police.

A 51-year-old man who set up cannabis factories capable of producing £7m of the drug has been jailed. Mohammed Jamshaid Akhtar leased and kitted out a unit at Benwick Road in Whittlesey in 2013. It was one of the largest cannabis factories ever discovered in Cambridgeshire.

Mohammed Jamshaid Akhtar.
Mohammed Jamshaid Akhtar. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police.

Officers found it after attending reports of a burglary on September 9 last year.

They discovered one harvested room and three others containing almost 3,000 plants with a potential street value of up to £4m.

Detectives were also able to link Akhtar to another site in Letchworth in Hertfordshire. That factory contained a total of 3,865 plants with a potential yield worth up to £3.25m.

A third unit, which was in the process of being set up as a cannabis factory, was found in Olney in Buckinghamshire.

Akhtar, or Forest View in London, admitted three charges of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and four charges linked to false documents.

He was jailed for six years during a hearing at Peterborough Crown Court.

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Weather latest: Yellow warning in place

A yellow warning of rain remains in place for: Bedford, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea, Suffolk & Thurrock.

That warning remains in place until 2345 Sun 10 Aug

Anglia Weather
Anglia weekend weather Credit: ITV Anglia

And the rest of the Anglia Weather:

Today: Cloudy with rain, heavy and possibly thundery at times, throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Rain becoming showery by late afternoon, with some dry spells possible. Strong winds throughout the day, with gales possible at times. Maximum temperature 20 deg C (68 deg F).

Tonight: Cloudy and mainly dry overnight, though with a few heavy showers lasting into the small hours of Monday. Winds remaining strong overnight, with a risk of gales. Minimum temperature 12 deg C (54 deg F).

Monday: A blustery day, with a mix of sunny spells and scattered heavy showers, and strong winds continuing throughout the day. Maximum temperature 20 deg C (68 deg F).

Outlook for Tuesday to Thursday: Continuing windy through to Thursday, with further showers mixed with sunny or clear spells. Perhaps becoming more settled later on Thursday.

Anglia Weather: Latest forecast

Anglia Weather
Anglia weekend weather Credit: ITV Anglia

This evening and tonight: After a mainly dry start to the night, outbreaks of rain will develop across most parts by dawn. Some of the rain turning persistent and heavy. Winds increasing to strong near coasts by the end of the night. Minimum temperature 13 deg C (55 deg F).

Sunday: A wet morning with a few heavier bursts of rain. Turning drier for the afternoon as strong westerly winds develop, with gales mainly confined to coastal areas. Maximum temperature 22 deg C (72 deg F).

Outlook for Monday to Wednesday: A windy start to the week with a mix of sunshine and showers. Some of the showers will be heavy and possibly thundery at times. Feeling cooler than of late.

Firefighters walk out in pension dispute

Members of the Fire Brigades Union across the region have started a series of short strikes.

Firefighters on the picket line in Colchester
Firefighters on the picket line in Colchester Credit: Victoria Lampard, ITV Anglia

Firefighters started their walk-out at noon. It was the first in a series of 16 strikes taking place over the next 8 days.

The industrial action is part of a national dispute over pension reforms.

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