Dad jailed for cannabis factory in attic of Derry home
A 37-year-old Polish man who has a first class honours degree in computer science has been jailed for 20 months for operating a cannabis factory in his Londonderry home.
Father-of-two Lukasz Majchrzykiewics was caught when police raided his Landsdowne Road property on December 17, 2015.
Officers discovered a quantity of cannabis plants in an attic above the defendant's garage. They also found digital weighing scales, packaging, a quantity of amphetamines, deal bags, extractor fans and heat lamps.
The defendant, who admitted running the cannabis factory and possessing the drugs, also admitted illegally extracting electricity for a period of 730 days at a cost of £1,156.
He told police that it cost him £900 to set up his operation and he planned to sell the mature cannabis plants to the person who supplied him with the seeds.
The defendant had denied possessing 27 grams of amphetamines with intent to supply them, but he was convicted of that offence by a jury last May. Defence barrister Nicola Rountree, whose application for the defendant to be granted anonymity was refused by Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey, told the Crown Court in Derry that the defendant came to Northern Ireland 12 years ago with his partner.
He was the father of two children, one aged five years and the other 13 months, and she said that the defendant feared his partner would return to Poland with them.
"His partner does not speak English and the five-year-old does not speak Polish, so a period of imprisonment will cause obvious communications difficulties in the family home, which is now at risk because of his conviction," she said.
Ms Rountree said the defendant started his offending during a period when his relationship with his partner was going through a difficult period, resulting in him becoming depressed.
She added: "He has jeopardised everything and his family will now suffer the consequences of his custodial sentence."
Judge McCaffrey said the value of the cannabis plants found in the defendant's home was £5,000 and they had a potential income of £14,000.
"The supply of drugs is an evil occupation and those who engage in such activities should expect to be punished by the courts," she added.
"By your offending you have put at risk the security of your family and of your home and that is unfortunate for them."
Judge McCaffrey added: "These are serious offences and those who cultivate and supply drugs only prey on the most vulnerable in our society."