Cattle farmer, 70, caught growing £50k of cannabis because he thought it would be more lucrative than beef

A respected farmer began growing cannabis in his cowshed to pay for new cattle grids.

John Shears, 70, a former National Farmers Union branch chairman, fell for the ‘crackpot’ scheme because he thought it would make him more money that rearing beef.

He hoped to be paid £3,000 a year in rent for the use of the shed and outbuildings by a cannabis grower – but lost money when crops failed.

He was caught with 187 plants with a potential yield of almost £50,000 when police raided the farm at Chagford in Devon.

Officers also arrested drug user Daniel Perryman, 26, who was tending the crop, and found so much cannabis growing they had to get reinforcements to remove it all, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Shears agreed to allow the cannabis farm on his land after being approached by a man at a steeplechase meeting in 2011.

The case...

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