Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Husband and wife facing trial over ‘drug farming’
4:10pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
A VANGE couple are to stand trial accused of growing cannabis and mistreating their pet dogs.
Carol and Mark Rankin appeared before Basildon Magistrates Court yesterday and denied producing cannabis and illegally abstracting electricity from the mains.
The pair, both 50, also face two charges of animal cruelty towards two British bulldogs, by failing to take them to a vet when they were injured.
No pleas have been entered to the cruelty charges.
Emma Rankin, 30, of Hereford Walk, denied illegally abstracting electricity from the mains and possession of cannabis and Scott Sonny Blois, of Somercotes, Laindon, admitted abstracting electricity and production of cannabis.
The court heard the charges arose from a police raid on Carol and Mark Rankin’s home, in Chestnut Road, Vange, on June 19.
They found a total of 95 cannabis plants in two outbuildings in the couple’s garden, the court was told.
A day later police went to a house in Basildon which appeared to be empty where they found evidence of illegal cannabis growing and a small quantity of the drug.
As a result, Emma Rankin and Blois were arrested.
Carol and Mark Rankin have been sent for trial at Basildon Crown Court on March 10.
Emma Rankin will stand trial at Basildon Magistrates Court on February 10.
Blois is due to be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on January 2.