Man seen leaving house full of cannabis with £1,000 cash in his pocket tells police ‘I was in the wrong place at the wrong time’

Man seen leaving house full of cannabis with £1,000 cash in his pocket tells police ‘I was in the wrong place at the wrong time’

A cannabis farm was uncovered after neighbours reported suspicious activity at an unoccupied house on their street. People living near the Morriston property reached for the phone after seeing people carrying a “large number” of black bags to a van parked in a rear lane.

Police caught one of the gardeners working in the house but the other – who fled through a back door while police were at the front door – remains unidentified and unaccounted for. With the help of a Greek interpreter, a judge told the one who didn’t get away that he had been “very foolish” to get involved in the cultivating of cannabis.

Megan Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that in November last year police received calls about activity at property on Vicarage Road in Morriston. She said neighbours believed to the house to be empty but they had seen people carrying a “large number” of black bags to a van parked in a rear lane, while the landing light in the property seemed to be on at all times of the day and night.

Read more: A driver tried to cover up stench of cannabis in his van by slapping on loads of aftershave – but his plan backfired spectacularly

Two officers went to the street and put the house under observation, and shortly afterwards they saw Konstantinis Galatas leaving through the front door. The officers approached and spoke to him, and he said a friend was in the house. The defendant was described as initially being “compliant” but started to become agitated as police questioned him. Miss Jones said police then saw a man running from the rear of the property but given Galatas was becoming increasingly agitated the decision was taken not to leave one officer alone to deal with him, and so the running male was not pursued.

When the 25-year-old defendant was searched he was found be in possession of £1,000 in cash, keys to a nearby car, a bank card – not in his name – and a number of B&Q receipts. Inside the house police found 80 cannabis plants of various stages of maturity, growing lights, and blackout curtains. They also found the electricity meter had been bypassed. The defendant’s phone was seized and examined but the court heard once the messages had been translated into English they were found to be texts between Galatas and his partner and unrelated to drugs.

In his police interview Galatas denied being responsible for cultivating cannabis, saying he had just been in the wrong place and the wrong time.

Konstantinis Galatas, of Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff, had previously pleaded guilty to producing cannabis when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Huw Rees told the defendant he had been “very foolish” to involve himself in the production of cannabis.

With a discount of his guilty plea Galatas was sentenced to six months in prison. He would normally serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community but the court heard he spent a month on remand in prison following his arrest followed by a lengthy period on bail on tagged electronic curfew, and together those meant he had effectively served his sentence and so would be released immediately.

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