Hereford & Worcester

Drakelow Tunnels cannabis farm man found guilty

Image caption The Drakelow Tunnels were built as a factory during World War Two

A man who used a former nuclear bunker to grow more than 800 cannabis plants has been found guilty.

A total of 885 plants with an estimated street value of £78,000 were found in Drakelow Tunnels, in Worcestershire, in November 2013.

Wayne Robinson, 48, of Marlpool Lane, Kidderminster was convicted after a retrial at Worcester Crown Court.

He is due to be sentenced next month. In December, another man was jailed for two-and-a-half years after assisting Robinson.

Jason Whiley, from Brierley Hill, West Midlands, had been found guilty of assisting in the production of cannabis, after a trial at Hereford Crown Court in October.

In earlier proceedings, Robinson admitted possessing a shotgun and ammunition without certification, but had denied a charge of permitting the production or the attempted production of a controlled drug on a premises.

Originally built as a factory for making aircraft engine parts in World War Two, the Drakelow Tunnels were lined up as a possible base for regional government in the event of a nuclear attack in the UK.

The 285,000 sq ft network of tunnels stretches for about three miles.

The tunnels were also used by the Ministry of Supply throughout the 1950s for storage, and much of the original equipment is still in place.

Correction 15 September 2016: This page has been amended to correct the figure given for the value of the cannabis and to clarify that Wayne Robinson was not involved in the growing of the plants.

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