Drug growing shame of Sheffield chef

Chris Hawkins
Chris Hawkins
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A Sheffield chef and college lecturer has been jailed for two years after police found £134,000 worth of cannabis growing at his home.

Chris Hawkins, aged 60, used to lecture at Sheffield College, and some of his pupils have gone on to be awarded Michelin stars.

But when police raided his property they found wall charts to log the growth of cannabis plants, extractor fans, and the electricity diverted round the meter.

Judge Ebrahim Mooncey said the cannabis set-up showed all the signs of being a successful operation.

He told Hawkins: “You said it was for your own use. You must have thought the police were born yesterday.”

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said police raided the detached home and found the cannabis set-up in five areas in outbuildings.

In one, cannabis was being dried in hanging baskets and foil had been used to line the walls.

Another area had pictures of the chemicals needed, as well as equipment to check the ingredients of the soil for the crop. More cannabis was found on racks and a plant nursery had a timer and extractor fan.

It contained 401 plants, each about two inches tall. Waste material was found in another area while cropped cannabis was discovered in a separate outhouse. If sold in small amounts, the entire haul could have raised £134,100.

Hawkins admitted production of cannabis, having the drug with intent to supply, and abstraction of electricity last September.

A two-year prison sentence suspended for two years was imposed on his wife Sharon, who also pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court. She was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Michelle Clarke, defending the pair, said Hawkins, of Evershill Lane, Morton, near Alfreton, had been left with ‘a considerable debt’ several years ago as a result of a business venture, and pain from a fused spine.