Cannabis farmer told to hand in £500,000 profits

A judge at the High Court was told today that an agreement had been reached. Picture: Bill Henry
A judge at the High Court was told today that an agreement had been reached. Picture: Bill Henry
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A former greyhound breeder has been ordered to hand over more than £500,000 in crime profits.

Cannabis farmer Alexander Cameron was jailed for six years in 2010 after police found a commercial operation to cultivate the drug at disused kennels at his remote farm.

Cameron, 66, who has since been freed from prison, was pursued by the Crown under proceeds of legislation following his conviction.

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh was told today during a brief hearing in the continued confiscation action that an agreement had been reached.

Cameron’s counsel Gail Gianni told Lord McEwan that a settlement had been achieved in the case.

Advocate depute Barry Divers asked the court to record Cameron’s benefit from “general criminal conduct” at £525,OOO and to make a confiscation order in the same sum.

Among Cameron’s realisable assets are West Cairns Farm, Kirknewton, in West Lothian, where the crop was found in 2009.

Cuttings and mature cannabis plants were found which could have yielded a crop worth £78,000 on the streets.

A complex heating and lighting system was in use to grow the drug crop and was being fuelled by electricity tapped illegally from a nearby transformer.

Cameron’s daughter Bridget, 35, was stabbed to death by her former partner Scott Storey in 2004. Storey jumped bail and fled to Thailand after knifing the mother of four in the neck. After four years on the run the authorities caught up with him and he was returned to Scotland where he was jailed for life for the murder.

Cameron told his trial on drugs charges that he knew nothing of what was going on in the building at the farm because he had rented it out.

He said he spent his days in Edinburgh after exercising his dogs and weekends in Ireland where he raced greyhounds.

Police who took part in the raid in July 2009 could smell the cannabis plants from 25 feet away.

Cameron was found guilty of producing the Class B drug between February and July 2009, of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and of stealing electricity.

The sentencing judge, Rita Rae QC, now Lady Rae, told Cameron: “This was a sophisticated operation on a remote site owned by you. Police found a large number of cannabis plants with a capacity for many more. This was clearly a very significant and commercial operation.”

Cameron’s assets listed in the confiscation action included properties in Musselburgh and Dalkeith and bank accounts.