Somerset

Bath councillor Donal Hassett guilty of drug offences

Donal Hassett Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Hassett used to be a Conservative councillor at Bath and North East Somerset Council

A Bath councillor has been found guilty of being involved in a cannabis drugs ring.

Donal Hassett, 57, was accused of acting as the property fixer using fake paperwork to rent four homes which were later turned into cannabis factories.

He was convicted at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday of conspiring to produce cannabis.

The prosecution described their drugs operation as an "organised, sophisticated drugs syndicate".

Cannabis was produced between January 2015 and March 2016 in four properties across the West Country, the court heard.

'Very let down'

Hassett, of Southdown Road, Bath, was suspended from the Conservative Party when he was charged. He is currently an independent councillor.

Conservative leader Tim Warren said in a statement on Wednesday that "the party, and he personally, felt very let down by Donal Hassett".

A council spokesman said: "The council takes this matter extremely seriously.

"We expect the highest standards from all our members and Cllr Hassett's behaviour falls far short of this."

Hassett was remanded in custody until sentencing.

Six others, five men and woman are due to be sentenced for their part in the drugs ring.

Image caption Cannabis was made in four homes across the West