Dramatic police-eye footage shows officer chasing down cannabis farmer on foot

This is the moment a man who had been enjoying coffee and pastries while his accomplices harvested cannabis at a drugs farm was chased down by police.

Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 3:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 4:02 pm

Ervin Lisl and a friend travelled to help out at the illegal farm at a house in Washington, from Leeds on the morning of June 10.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when police arrived following reports of suspicious activity, the men ran off and only Lisl was detained after a chase on foot, which was caught on police video camera.Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "The defendant drove here from Leeds that morning with one other Albanian male.

"He later provided police with the pin to his mobile telephone and the data confirmed he had travelled from Leeds that day.

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Ervin Lisl was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court

"Before arriving at the property the defendant bought coffee and pastries for breakfast.

"On arrival he was met by two other Albanian males, and these other males worked on the harvesting of the cannabis plants growing in the downstairsrooms.

"This was whilst the defendant and the person he travelled with ate their pastries and drank coffee."

Lisl told police he had only been in one downstairs room and would be paid £200 for helping out at the illegal farm.

Ervin Lisl was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court

Mr Wardlaw added: "Four of the rooms in the address had been turned into growing cannabis, with a total of 130 plants."

The court also heard that when interviewed by police, Lisl told them 'I do it so my family are safe and looked after'.

The 30-year-old, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to produce cannabis. He was jailed for nine months.

He has no previous convictions.

Inside the cannabis farm

Robert Cowley, defending, said: "This is a case categorised where the defendant had a lesser role.

"It was for financial reward but a relativity small amount of money - there was some element of exploitation.

"The defendant had been undertaking cash in hand work, but the problem he faced came at the end of March when a lot of that work became unavailable to him.

"His family in Albania were dependent on him and this was simply a way of obtaining money that he was desperately in need of."

Inside the cannabis farm

Mr Recorder Matthew Happold told Lisl : "You conspired to produce cannabis which is a class B drug.

"The real question is what was our involvement, or what was your culpability.

"You were acting on direction but I have to think about you were performing a lesser role.

"However, I don't see any other mitigating factors."

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Inside the cannabis farm

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