Man hid from police on roof after large cannabis farm was found in home
A picture showed Etmond Lika, 32, on the roof of a property in Liverpool after he attempted to evade police.
A man involved in maintaining a cannabis farm inside a house attempted to flee from police by hiding on the roof, a court has heard.
A picture showed Etmond Lika, 32, on the roof of a property in Liverpool after he attempted to evade officers by climbing through a skylight.
He was eventually captured and arrested following a search on 24 February.
Lika, of no fixed abode, was jailed for two years and four months at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of being concerned in the production of cannabis.
Christopher Hopkins, prosecuting, told the court that a locksmith had been employed to change the front door lock at an address at Stanley Road, Kirkdale, at around midday on the day of the incident.
Mr Hopkins said: “He noticed what he thought was a cannabis installation at the property and called the police. He thought someone was inside.”
Later that afternoon, police searched the property, a large terraced house, and found a “sophisticated” cannabis growing installation of at least 200 plants over six rooms.
Police also found evidence that someone had been living there and said there was “no doubt that was this defendant”.
Mr Hopkins added: “Lika had been employed by somebody to manage or run this installation whether that was tending to the plants or whatever else was required.”
The defendant was interviewed by police and initially denied involvement, but said he came to the UK via a boat across the channel in September last year, hoping to gain better economic opportunities.
Lika said he paid €5,000 (about £4,400) for that trip.
Olivia Beesley, defending, said her client was offered £100 a day to live at the property, and left Albania for economic reasons.
Judge Brian Cummings KC said: “You entered this country illegally, little or nothing is known about you.
“I note what was said in the case summary by reference to your police interview, and I quote: ‘It was difficult to get an answer out of him, he continuously changed his account throughout the interview’.
“A question mark always raises in my mind when somebody has a January 1 birthday, it seems to be more often than is statistically probable in cases of this class.”
Lika was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment, and forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and paraphernalia was ordered. A victim surcharge applies.
He has no previous convictions in the UK and a foreign antecedent record was requested but none was provided.