Paedophile hid cannabis farm in mobility shop
A paedophile who concealed a cannabis farm in a mobility shop has been spared jail.
Police discovered eight plants when they searched the Old Mobility Shop.
A search at the home of Peter Hunt, 61, later uncovered more than 40 additional cannabis plants, before police uncovered almost 2,000 indecent images of children on the man’s seized mobile phone.
Prosecutors told Hull Crown Court that Hunt initially refused police officers entry to the store and told them to get a search warrant, but a smell of cannabis from inside led to his arrest.
The following search revealed a tent with specialist equipment designed to grow the class B drug.
Officers later discovered 43 more plants in sheds at Hunt’s home.
The street value of the cannabis found at the shop and house could have been as high as £30,000, the court was told. In total, more than 2kg of the drug were seized by police.
The investigation which followed the drugs bust led police to another shocking discovery.
“The indecent image charges came as a result of the investigation into the drugs,” prosecutors said.
“The defendant’s mobile phone was seized, and although no evidence was found relating to drugs, large numbers of images were found of children.
“In total, 699 category A images, 494 category B and 741 category C images were found.”
Police raided the store on Beck Hill in Bridlington on February 10.
Hunt, of Danes Croft in Bridlington, appeared at Hull Crown Court this week admitted charges of producing cannabis and possessing indecent images of children.
Sentencing Hunt, Mr Recorder McKone said: “Your motivation was not only for your own misuse, but also to pay off significant debt.
“When police seized your mobile phone to look for evidence of drug dealing, they found a large number of indecent images of children.
“Category A images show children essentially being raped – every time it is downloaded and watched people like you are encouraging others to make it and continue to abuse these children.”
Hunt was given a 23-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
He was ordered to complete 31 sessions of the Horizon sexual offence programme, along with 25 days of rehabilitation requirements with the Probation Service.
A sexual harm prevention order was also imposed on Hunt.