A CANNABIS farmer who helped to grow plants with a potential maximum yield of up to £75,000 has been jailed for 34 months.

Klizman Marku was stopped by police as he was driving an uninsured car on the A12 at Capel St Mary in June and appeared nervous, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He was on his phone when he was stopped by police and had shouted something in Albanian.

He was detained and when officers looked at his phone they saw a video of someone holding a large amount of cannabis.

A location tag on the video led police to a property in Norwich Road, Ipswich, and when police entered the premises with a key found on Marku they found 52 cannabis plants being grown in the basement.

The room had been kitted out with 50 lighting units, four fan units and a filtration unit and in another room police found 97 pots of recently harvested plants.

The court that the 52 plants had a potential estimated value of up to £27,000 and the 97 harvested plants had an estimated potential value of up to £48,000.

When officers went to Marku’s home address in Colchester they found a small amount of cannabis and two large air filtration units similar to the one found at the house in Norwich Road.

Marku, 25, of Victor Road, Colchester, admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis on June 5 and possession of cannabis on the same date.

He also admitted driving without insurance and without a driving licence and was banned from driving for 23 months.

Sentencing Marku, Judge David Pugh said: “Having come over to this country I’m told you found yourself in the hands of a criminal gang but it is clear that you accept that you took an active part in the activities of this gang in the production of cannabis.”

The court heard that Marku, who was described as “naive”, had sought refuge in the UK and had come across a gang which offered him accommodation and food at a time when he was cold and hungry and in dire straits.