Published: 16:30, 02 May 2014
| Updated: 22:45, 27 February 2018
The tragic drugs death of a mother led to the discovery of a thriving cannabis factory in a garage, a court heard.
A fingerprint found on an envelope at the house in Sevenoaks provided a link to a drug dealer, who had cocaine and a large amount of cash at his home.
Now three men have today been jailed for their part in the offences.
Businessman Stevie Murphy, 34, and greenkeeper David Williams, 44, were sentenced to two-and-half years and property developer Gareth Morgan, 34, to 20 months.
Murphy, of Old Mount Road, Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks, denied cultivating cannabis and possessing criminal property, but was convicted.
Morgan, of Broadwater Gardens, Orpington, admitted the charge and possessing criminal property.
Williams, of Chevening Road, Sundridge, Sevenoaks, admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply.
Maidstone Crown Court heard an ambulance and police were called to Murphy's home on November 17 2012.
Prosecutor Anthony Prosser said Murphy and his partner Stacey had taken cocaine the night before. She went to sleep in the living room and Murphy could not wake her the next morning. She was taken to hospital, but she died the next day.
Police carried out a search and the skunk cannabis factory was revealed in a locked garage.
Forty-five plants were growing. Three crops a year were estimated to produce just over six kilos of the drug.
Mr Prosser said it was worth £8-12,000 wholesale, but up to £60,000 at street level.
Also there was a "cannabis grow bible", a definitive guide to growing marijuana and £3,627 and £2,000 worth of United Arab Emirates currency.
Murphy told police he had rented out the garage and had told the tenant to contact them. Ten days later, Morgan claimed he was responsible for the factory.
Mr Prosser said Murphy had five bank accounts and a total of £126,193 coming in which he claimed was from his businesses Stevie Murphy Autos and Approved Roofing.
There was evidence of a high-spending lifestyle, said Mr Prosser, with several holidays abroad.
After finding the fingerprint on an envelope, officers found 83 grammes of cocaine and £1,600 at Williams' home.
Judge Jeremy Carey told the three men it was serious offending. "This was on any view a substantial commercial operation," he said of the factory.
The judge said he could not accede to submissions that Murphy and Morgan's sentences should be suspended.
Williams had played a significant role in supplying class A drugs, he added.
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