A stunning picture captures the moment a man involved in growing a cannabis farm inside a house tried to avoid the police by hiding on the roof.
Etmond Lika, 32, of no fixed abode, climbed through a skylight of the house in Liverpool and balanced precariously above the window as a policeman poked his head through.
He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court via video link yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of being concerned in the production of cannabis.
The Albanian who crossed the in a small boat last year was offered £100 a day to live at the property, the court heard.
In February he was caught by police, who found at least 200 cannabis plants.Today Lika was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment.
A stunning picture captures the moment Etmond Lika, 32, of no fixed abode, tried to avoid capture by police by hiding on the roof of a cannabis farm house in Liverpool
Christopher Hopkins, prosecuting, told the court that on February 24 this year, a locksmith was employed to change the front door lock at an address at Stanley Road, Kirkdale at around midday.
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 that over the six rooms inside was a cannabis growing installation, of at least 200 plants, described as ‘plainly a sophisticated operation’.
Police found evidence that someone had been living there, such as food etc, and said there was ‘no doubt that was this defendant’.
Lika attempted to evade police by climbing through a skylight and hiding on the roof of the property, but was eventually captured and arrested.
Mr Hopkins said: ‘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 32-year-old was interviewed by police and initially denied being involved, but said he came to the UK via a boat across the channel in September last year, in the hope of gaining better economic opportunities.
Lika said he paid 5000 euros (£4,400) for that trip, but apart from those limited facts, Medical Marijuanas Card Near Me Mr Hopkins said ‘the Crown frankly knows nothing else about this defendant’.
Liverpool Crown Court heard police searched the property and found a cannabis growing installation, of at least 200 plants, described as ‘plainly a sophisticated operation’
He said: ‘Lika must have been motivated by some significant financial advantage and must have understood what was going on in the house.’ Lika has no previous convictions in the UK, and a foreign antecedent record was requested but none was provided.
Olivia Beesley, defending, said her client was offered £100 a day to live at the property, and left Albania for economic reasons.She said: ‘He wants to work but he knows now that he should have done so through proper channels.
‘He simply wishes to receive his sentence with grace and understands he must be punished for this kind of offending.’ She said he requested an English Language course while in custody, and was homeless for a week prior to committing this offence.
Ms Beesley also detailed that Lika said he had no previous convictions in Albania.Judge Brian Cummings KC said: ‘There are lots of January 1 birthdays on this class of case.
‘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.