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Ex-cop’s cannabis farm made £250k

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: June 11, 2013

Paul Lewsey

Paul Lewsey

Comments (6)

A former Lincolnshire police officer who turned to a life of crime, faces losing his home after being jailed for his role in running a cannabis factory at the former RAF Hemswell.

Paul Lewsey, 50, who had also previously served in the Grenadier Guards, was a highly respected officer with the Lincolnshire force for 12 years.

But Lewsey switched to crime and in the summer of last year was arrested after police unearthed an underground cannabis bunker on the site of the former RAF base.

Lewsey, of Church Lane, North Carlton, pleaded guilty to producing a controlled drug at the former RAF Hemswell base between August 10 and September 23 last year.

He was jailed for three years and four months earlier this year and this week had his available assets seized on the orders of a judge.

Judge Michael Heath ruled that Lewsey benefited from his crime by £257,934 and ordered him to hand over his available assets of £12,954.

Lewsey was given six months to produce the money or face an extra eight months in jail.

The prosecution told Lincoln Crown Court: “There are available assets of £12,954 which can be seized. This will rely primarily on the house being sold. There was also an iPhone and a lap-top seized and these can also be sold.”

Lewsey was arrested after undercover offices spotted him ferrying 25-litre containers of water into the specially constructed cannabis factory.

The building took weeks to build using steel beams and thousands of breeze blocks and was buried underground to avoid detection from heat seeking equipment used to trace cannabis-growing operations.

Cannabis plants found inside the bunker were capable of producing £150,000 worth of the illicit drug.

Lewsey also used his own home as a nursery. When police raided his premises they found 117 seedlings waiting to be transferred to the bunker.

Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said: “It was a massive undertaking. The reason why it was sited underground is because it didn’t produce a heat source as it was filled over with soil. Somebody laid out a lot of money to build it.

“The evidence is that 7,000 concrete blocks, which were typical breeze blocks, were used to construct the building with another 4,000 for the roof. It would have taken nine articulated lorry loads to deliver the blocks.

“Steel and concrete beams were supporting the roof. The floor was concrete. There were lights and it was all powered by three generators. It would have taken a minimum of four weeks to build with six men building it. It can only be described as an impressive bunker for the growing of cannabis. There were two separate rooms each about 20m by 3m in dimension.

“The two growing rooms were separated by a row of steel poles. There were three generators on site. It is estimated the cost of building the bunker and the extra bits and pieces would have been £35,000. Mr Lewsey was intimately involved.”

One of Lewsey’s accomplices was convicted killer Simon Hopps who was jailed in 1994 for manslaughter. Hopps, 38, of Dunholme, also admitted producing a controlled drug and was jailed for 16 months.

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6 comments

  • rascall27  |  June 11 2013, 10:49PM

    All the comments are true and agreeable, my point is that he has taken his knowledge trust and turned it to his advantage, and as one of you said why work for £6.19 when you can earn more for crime, still take a hit on profits, then get fed and watered daily to the tax payers, so despite his floors, who are really the idiots here then ?

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  • Phil1W  |  June 11 2013, 9:43PM

    Whatever he has done in the past he chose to turn to a life of crime and grow and supply these drugs. He is probably responsible for someones child starting on drug taking and moving onto more dangerous stuff. And it was probably all motivated by sheer greed! Considering the amount of money he has possibly made and the amount of lifes he's put at risk the sentence seems far too short.

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  • fowley1953  |  June 11 2013, 9:39PM

    Rascall 27 The fact he was an ex-cop makes this less sad because it makes him a hypocrite. He's just a greedy B****d who couldn't give a F*** about how many life's he helps ruin as long as he gets a drink out of it. He didn't do it out of necessity either, as for making a film these cannabis farmer toe rags are two a penny, a sad little man.

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  • rascall27  |  June 11 2013, 2:48PM

    I know paul, he used to be a sound guy, bit of a lad yes, but this is so sad for a guy with a very prestige backgroung, I have followed his exploits in the news for many years now, and boy its been good reading too, now its all in a million bits and for what, having said that he is not that daft a lad either, even though he got caught and your quite right mr fowley. Maybe they will make a film of him, good cop bad cop lol

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  • rascall27  |  June 11 2013, 2:17PM

    I know paul, he used to be a sound guy, bit of a lad yes, but this is so sad for a guy with a very prestige backgroung, I have followed his exploits in the news for many years now, and boy its been good reading too, now its all in a million bits and for what, having said that he is not that daft a lad either, even though he got caught and your quite right mr fowley. Maybe they will make a film of him, good cop bad cop lol

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  • fowley1953  |  June 11 2013, 1:38PM

    Even after taking off the £35,000 cost of building the bunker and the 13 grand he has to pay back he's still £210,000 up. Just because they can't account for the money doesn't mean he doesn't know where it is. He will probably get out on tag after a year or if he serves the full 18 months it's still not bad money. Something like £140,000 a year much better than going to work for £6.19 an hour. Who said crime doesn't pay?

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