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Drakelow Tunnels caretaker jailed after ex-nuclear bunker used as 'sophisticated' cannabis factory

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The caretaker of the historic Drakelow Tunnels has been jailed for allowing the site to be used as a "remarkable and highly sophisticated" cannabis factory.

More than 550 mature cannabis plants worth £71,500 were seized by police following a raid on the former nuclear bunker near Kidderminster in November 2013.

Wayne Robinson had managed the site, owned by his brother, since the 1990s but denied any knowledge that part of the tunnels were being used to cultivate the Class B drug.

But earlier this year a jury found him guilty of permitting the premises to be used for the production of cannabis.

And at Worcester Crown Court today he was jailed for 14 months for his role.

Inside the cannabis factory at Drakelow Tunnels

Judge Abbas Mithani QC, said: "This was a quite remarkable and highly sophisticated operation intended to make a substantial amount of profit.

"It included the deployment of expensive equipment and the electricity supply to the tunnels was bypassed for the operation of the cannabis factory.

"There was a substantial number of plants recovered by police with a retail value estimated around £71,000… and your involvement was to allow the owners of the cannabis factory to use part of the tunnels for their operation."

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Robinson, aged 48, of Marlpool Lane, Kidderminster, was also handed nine and sixth month jail terms for possessing a shotgun and ammunition respectively without a firearms certificate.

It was ordered all of Robinson's sentences will run concurrently.

The Drakelow Tunnels were first opened during the early 1940s as a top secret complex and were designated a nuclear bunker during the Cold War.

For more on the case see tomorrow's Express & Star.

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