Glasgow & West Scotland

Man jailed over cannabis farm at Ayr go-kart complex

A man who set up a cannabis farm at a go-kart complex where he worked has been jailed for four and a half years.

Paul Costa, 35, was arrested after police found more than 100 cannabis plants in a concealed area inside Emotion Karting, Ayr, in February 2015.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that the crop was worth up to £100,000.

Costa, from Falkirk, denied involvement in the cannabis farm but was convicted of being concerned in the supply of the drug between 2013 and 2015.

The court heard that the large-scale set-up involved the use of high-powered lamps and other "gardening" equipment.

DNA evidence

Costa's fingerprints were discovered in the area where the drugs were and his DNA was also identified on a juice can.

When police examined Costa's computers, they found "multiple searches" online for "cannabis cultivation".

A leaflet for a hydroponics company was also seized.

Costa told the jury he discovered the cannabis farm after hearing a mysterious "humming" at the complex.

He followed the sound and claimed he then discovered the drugs in a secret area.

Costa claimed had a "nosy" around as he was "curious" to know more.

But he said he held off calling the police and told the jury: "I thought I could find out who was doing it. I had an intention to put a camera in."

Prosecutor Bill McVicar put to him: "All that was being grown was in your charge.

"There may have been others involved, but you are the gardener worth your weight in gold."

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