The couple’s drug farm was discovered after they called the police themselves

Keith Henson and Sharon Williams have been arrested after police discovered their cannabis farm during a welfare check (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Keith Henson and Sharon Williams have been arrested after police discovered their cannabis farm during a welfare check (Image: Liverpool Echo)

A mother who grew cannabis to supply to her adult children only did so to “keep them away from other dealers,” according to a court.

Keith Henson and Sharon Williams, both from Egremont, Merseyside, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday in connection with the “peculiar” incident in which Henson called police to his home after claiming Williams’ son had him attacked on February 2, 2022.

Police arrived to do a social check on the 59-year-old man but instead found a large quantity of cannabis in the back room of the property.

Both defendants were arrested, and Henson told police the drugs belonged to his partner, Williams.

Keith Henson appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday

Keith Henson called the police to his home after a domestic dispute, where they discovered a cannabis farm run by him and his partner (Image: Liverpool Echo)

In all, police found 150 grams of cannabis resin, divided into two blocks, and 16 grams of cannabis with female flower heads, along with scales, snap bags, but no cash.

The cannabis was found to have a street value of around £231 and the resin £2280.

During a police interview, Henson didn’t respond to all questions put to him, while Williams explained her nephew grew the cannabis, but they took over after he was arrested for drug dealing.

The 50-year-old also said she was struggling financially and claimed she only provided her children with drugs to keep them away from dealers.

Two of the defendants’ phones were analyzed and showed messages between the couple asking if the other was on.

Mr Jones said: “It is quite clear that they were willing participants in this undertaking.”

Messages on Henson’s phone showed people asking for small amounts of drugs, but also one person asked how much a kilogram of cannabis would cost and he replied £4,500.

Sharon Williams appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday

Sharon Williams claimed she was supplying cannabis to her adult children to ‘keep them away from other dealers’ (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Another message showed that he was offered half a kilogram of cannabis, but it’s not clear if he took it.

Mr Jones said the couple had probably been in charge of the operation for three months but could not pinpoint exact dates.

Henson was convicted twice of assault in 2009 and of assault in 2016, and Williams was cautioned in 2011 for amphetamine possession.

John Weate, defending Henson, said his client accepts his role at the company and has no relevant criminal record.

He elaborated that Henson previously had a successful transportation business that failed due to pressures related to the pandemic, and that his best friend, William’s stepfather, died.

Mr Weate said Henson moved in with Williams but because he wasn’t eligible for welfare benefits he started drinking excessively and then took a stake in that venture.

However, he said that although the couple briefly split after her arrest, they are now back together and hope to marry this year, and Henson has stopped drinking excessively.

Gareth Bellis, who defended Williams, reiterated that she was struggling financially when this offense began and that there were fewer drug trafficking messages on her phone than her co-defendant’s.

He also explained that she had four adult children, one of whom had mental health issues, and she is a caregiver.

At the sentencing hearing, His Honorary Judge Denis Watson KC said: “The two of you together offered and supplied cannabis and cannabis resin to consumers. You pose no danger or risk and have no record of failure to comply with court orders.

“There’s a realistic prospect of rehabilitation for both of you,” he added.

Both defendants were sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months and Henson was ordered to complete 25 days of rehabilitation while Williams was ordered to complete 15.

The drugs, bags, phone and scales were confiscated and destroyed.

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Justin Scacco

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