A MAN who tried to evade arrest by jumping out of a window when police discovered his cannabis farm has been jailed.

Henri Zeqo, of no fixed address, landed on the roof of an unmarked police car in his attempt to flee from officers, causing significant damage to its roof.

Police were called to a terraced house in Cholmondeley Street in Widnes at around 10.30am on Wednesday following reports of a strong smell of cannabis.

Zeqo was the only person inside the house, and when officers entered the property, the 24-year-old ran upstairs and made a beeline for a bedroom window.

After landing on the car he attempted to flee on foot, but he was caught by pursuing officers following a chase which ended on Macdermott Road.

Police discovered that the house was being used as a cannabis farm, with its three bedrooms containing a total of 66 cannabis plants.

The cannabis plants inside the house were seized, as was equipment used to cultivate them.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Zeqo appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court via a video link yesterday, Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to the production of a class B drug and causing criminal damage.

He was subsequently jailed for six months.

Following the conviction, chief inspector Ian Whiley, of Widnes Local Policing Unit, said: “Thanks to information received from a member of the public, we have been able to seize a significant quantity of cannabis which could have been destined for the streets of Widnes.

“We have also been able to bring a man to justice for producing the class B drug and damaging a police car as he attempted to avoid being arrested.

“We are fully aware of the negative impact the use and supply of illegal drugs can have on communities and are pleased that Henri Zeqo is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions.

“This case shows that information from members of the public is vital in the fight against drug related crime.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

The damaged car roof

“Although this case has now concluded, our battle against those who are involved in the production and supply of illegal drugs continues.

“I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to get in touch. You will be listened to and we will investigate the matter.”

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “Illegal drugs and those who produce and supply them blight our communities, causing untold damage to both those that use them and the wider society who suffer from the resulting crime.

“As police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, I know that officers work tirelessly in their fight against the supply of illegal drugs and I am delighted to hear of this latest successful result.”

Runcorn and Widnes World:

There are a number signs that could indicate that a property is being used as a cannabis farm, including:

  • A strong and sickly-sweet smell
  • Equipment to grow cannabis being taken into a property, such as lighting and ventilation equipment
  • Constantly covered or blocked-off windows – cannabis farms often have constantly closed curtains, black-out blinds or foil coverings
  • People coming and going at all hours or neighbours you never see
  • Strong and constant lighting day and night
  • High levels of heat and condensation – cannabis farms often give off heat and the windows stay misted up
  • A constant buzz of ventilation – listen out for a whirring sound as the growers try to create an ideal climate for cannabis plants to grow
  • Lots of power cables – offenders often dig underground to lay cables that hook up to things like lamp posts so they do not have to pay for the enormous amounts of electricity they use.

To report a suspected cannabis farm or any other type of drug-related offence, call Cheshire Police on 101, give the details via cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.