Essex man who had hidden room for growing cannabis has sentence increased

James Brooks Credit: Essex police

An Essex man who was given a suspended sentence for growing cannabis in a fake room he'd constructed in his bedroom will now be sent to prison.

24-year old James Brooks from Southend will have to serve almost three years in jail after the court of appeal ruled the original sentence for drugs offences was too lenient.

Brooks has been ordered to surrender himself to Southend police station today.

Brooks was given an 18-month suspended sentence at Basildon Crown Court in July after pleading guilty to producing a Class B drug, possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug.

He was arrested in April this year when officers from the Southend Operation Raptor team raided his flat in Viceroy Court. They found herbal cannabis, cocaine and a false room which has been constructed within his bedroom which housed a small cannabis growing operation. Six plants of the Class B drug were growing inside.

Officers searched the rest of the property and found: scales; deal bags to parcel up drugs for customers; cash; a knuckleduster; and a machete.

Brooks was given a 18-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month drug rehabilitation order.

"Operation Raptor will continue to target those people selling drugs on the streets of our county. We will also continue to work hand in hand with our criminal justice partners to ensure that those involved in this type of crime will continue to face the full force of the law.”

– Essex police

"The Court of Appeal agreed that the sentence was unduly lenient and quashed the original sentence before subsequently increasing the length of imprisonment. Crimes of this type have devastating effects on our local communities and we will continue to work in partnership with the police to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”

– CPS, East of England