Beds, Herts & Bucks

Acid attacker's father tagged over cannabis factory

Arthur Collins Snr Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Arthur Collins Snr had "turned a blind eye" to the cannabis factory, the court heard

The father of acid attacker Arthur Collins has been electronically tagged after a court heard he allowed his home to be used as a cannabis factory.

Police discovered 30 cannabis plants at the house in Hertfordshire during a hunt for Collins in April 2017.

St Albans Crown Court heard Arthur Collins Snr's son Thomas was found with CS gas canisters and a stun gun.

The 22-year-old will also serve a home curfew - and was given a suspended jail sentence.

Police had gone to the family home in Broxbourne on 15 April looking for Arthur Collins, who had gone on the run after a nightclub attack in London which left 16 people suffering chemical burns.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Thomas Collins, 22, was found to have CS gas canisters and a stun gun in his bedroom

During the search they discovered the cannabis factory - with crops worth up to £25,000 - in a padlocked outbuilding.

They also found two CS gas canisters and an electric stun gun, as well as 68 grams of cannabis, in the bedroom of Thomas Collins, 22.

Judge Michael Kay QC told their father he was "hugely sceptical" of his claims that he hadn't known a cannabis factory was operating from one of the outbuildings at his property.

The court heard that a fully operating hydroponics growing system was in place, with lighting, fans and irrigation.

Defence counsel Graeme Wilson said Mr Collins Snr had "turned a blind eye" to his son's activities in a building to which he did not have access.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The factory was discovered during a hunt for acid attacker Arthur Collins

Mr Collins Snr admitted knowingly permitting or allowing the production of the Class B drug. He was given a 12 month community order and will serve a four-month home curfew.

Thomas Collins admitted possession of the weapons and the drugs charges and was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He will serve the same curfew and will have to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place next year.

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