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Home grown charity doesn't pay

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Cannabis factory couple who gave away their £400,000 drug-dealing fortune to poor Kenyan village are jailed for three years

  • Pair paid for life-saving surgery, computers in a hospital and schooling
  • 'Most unusual cannabis growing case of its type', says prosecutor
  • Couple, in their 60s, visited village near coastal town of Mombasa regularly

By Larisa Brown

A couple who ran a cannabis factory and spent their fortune on helping poor African families and charities have been jailed.

Michael Foster, 62, and Susan Cooper, 63, made £400,000 by illegally growing hundreds of plants at their farmhouse home during a six-year operation.

But instead of pocketing the money, they spent a large proportion of it on people in a Kenyan village - paying for life-saving surgery, computers for an eye hospital and schooling for poor children.



Jailed: Michael Foster, left, and Susan Copper, right, spent the majority of their money made from selling cannabis grown in their farmhouse home on poor people living in a Kenyan village

When the pair, from Lincolnshire, were not helping people in Kenya, they were living an incredible double life selling wholesale kilo deals of cannabis to a local drugs baron.

Although the Judge appeared impressed with their good work, they were jailed for three years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Prosecutor Jon Dee told the court Foster and Cooper’s life was the 'most unusual cannabis growing case of its type'.

He added: 'This couple were both in their 60s and were of previous good character.

'For six years they produced cannabis in significant quantities. This was a ­professional and commercial set up.'

Gareth Wheetman, representing Foster, said. 'The very fact they were repeatedly flying off to Kenya in itself required money but the evidence demonstrates much of the money was being put to charitable and good use.'

Cooper’s lawyer, Chris Milligan, added: 'Susan Cooper is a good person who has done a bad thing. There is another side to her.


In 2004 the couple converted two buildings on their farm in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire into a cannabis factory

'When a young adult called Wilson got a gangrenous infection in his leg he was given two days to live. She paid for that treatment.'

The court heard how the couple were regular visitors to a village in the Kwale district, near the tourist coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya.

The couple told police much of the money they illegally obtained was spent helping the local people they met.


They used the money to pay for life-saving surgery for people in the village and schooling for the children (file photo)


Diani Beach, a tourist hotspot in the Kwale District of Kenya, not too far from where the couple visited regularly

Jailing the couple, Judge Sean Morris told them: 'You were growing it on a significant scale, jetting off to Kenya on it.

'Lots of money was going into your bank accounts, over a number of years hundreds of thousands went in.

'I am sure you were doing good things in Kenya with your drugs money, whether that was to appease your consciences I can only speculate.'

In 2004 Foster and Cooper converted two buildings on their farm in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, into a cannabis factory, where they grew hundreds of illegal plants and sold kilos of the drug to a local dealer.

Police only caught the couple by accident when an officer, who happened to stumble across their home while pursuing a burglar nearby, smelled the cannabis.

Inside police found 159 cannabis plants, worth an estimated £20,000. Two of the buildings had been converted into a growing room and drying room.

Officers also recovered £20,000 in £1,000 bundles from a carrier bag.

Foster and Cooper were arrested and interviewed following the raid in June 2010.

Mr Dee added: 'At the time this couple were completely off the police radar. They were caught completely by chance.'

When the officer knocked on the farmhouse door Cooper, a divorcee, answered. She replied 'Yes I do' when the officer asked if she knew why he was there.

The couple admitted four charges of producing cannabis and a single offence of possessing criminal cash.

copied and pasted from - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219477/Cannabis-factory-couple-gave-400-000-drug-dealing-fortune-poor-Kenyans-jailed-years.html



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Surely the crime here was to stop the awesome couple doing something that benefitted a community in need of help.

wise words indeed.

Another incredible story, good to hear they still are so generous people like this, wish we could here more often about those, and not when they get arrested!

Thanks for sharing lams good luck to them

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'I am sure you were doing good things in Kenya with your drugs money, whether that was to appease your consciences I can only speculate.'

To clear their consciences? Lol. Sad this couple has to go to jail. Three years is completely ridiculous, rapists get less than that.

Some of the comments under the article just make me cringe. I'm astonished to see how many people agree with this sentence using arguments like "They destroyed lives in the UK while saving others in Kenia," "They deserve it because it's illegal" and "I know a guy who smoked and died ten years later because of a crack addiction". Their ignorance and inability to think for themselves is scary.

If the government prohibits broccoli these people will stop eating broccoli.

Hopefully the couple will continue their good work in another country when they get out of jail.

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