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DRUG FARMER LOSES APPEAL ON SENTENCE.

Byline: THOMAS MARTIN

A LIVERPOOL man jailed for setting up sophisticated drug

Just one of the cannabis farms 49-year-old Peter John Blackburn kitted out across the North West was capable of yielding cannabis worth up to PS120,000 every six weeks.

Blackburn, of Tudor Road, Hunts Cross, was jailed for five years after he admitted conspiracy to produce and supply class B drugs in December, 2011 at Liverpool Crown Court. Three other members of his gang were also jailed.

Three senior judges at London's Court of Appeal today rejected a bid by Blackburn to have his sentence cut, saying his "severe" term was entirely justified.

jailed.: Blackburn Mr Justice Mackay said the drugs ring operated between October 2010 and May 2011, with Blackburn setting up three cannabis farms on his own. He had help to create a fourth.

The most sophisticated factory, in School Lane, Widnes, could produce drugs with a street value of PS60,000 to PS120,000 every three to six weeks.

Before jailing him, the sentencing judge said Blackburn had been at a "very high level" in the conspiracy, performing a "co-ordinating and organisational role".

He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had the maximum discount of one-third applied to his final sentence.

Peter On appeal, Blackburn argued his sentence was over the top, insisting he received insufficient credit for his plea and that the judge failed to heed sentences passed in similar cases.

However, Mr Justice Mackay, sitting with Lord Justice Elias and Sir Roderick Evans, rejected Blackburn's appeal.

He concluded: "A sentence of five years after a guilty plea in this case was severe, but it was not arguably manifestly excessive. This renewed application to appeal is therefore dismissed."

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JAILED: Peter Blackburn
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2013
Words:290
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