A MAN caught growing dozens of cannabis plants in a terraced Bolton house is to be deported home to Albania after he completes a 12-month prison sentence.

Police found 34-year-old Marius Gubere at the property in Radcliffe Road when they raided it on April 11.

The Bolton News:

Bolton Crown Court heard how the windows of the two rooms downstairs and two upstairs were boarded up and covered with plastic sheeting whilst inside a sophisticated set-up of equipment had been installed to cultivate a total of 127 plants.

Simon Barrett, prosecuting, told how the electricity meter had been bypassed and each room contained lighting, fans and extraction pipes.

Only the kitchen, bathroom and a small room where Gubere slept were free from cannabis plants growing and there were also 37 large plastic bags containing cannabis material.

“The house had been converted almost entirely into a cannabis farm,” said Mr Barrett.

Gubere initially claimed he was a victim of modern slavery but abandoned the assertion and pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis after it was established that he still possessed his passport, a key to the property and mobile phones.

The Bolton News:

The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh was told that Gubere admitted having come to the UK illegally from Albania four years ago and had been working as a gardener at the house for three months before he was caught.

He told police that he was paid £2,500 a month, which was knocked off a debt he owed to his employers.

Gubere has no other convictions in this country but the Home Office had lost contact with him before he turned up in Bolton.

Paul Treble, defending, said: “He came to this country illegally trying to get a better life for him and his family in Albania but found himself in debt to the people that he was involved with and started working for them in this capacity.”

The Bolton News: Marius GubereMarius Gubere

He appealed to Judge Walsh to pass a sentence of less than 12 months in prison which would mean that Gubere, who wants to go to London, would not be automatically deported.

The judge told Gubere: “I accept that you were working for, and on behalf of, others and it was they and not you who were likely to gain substantially from the cultivation process.”

But he imposed a 12-month sentence which means that, after serving half of it, he will be deported from the UK.