Five men - including one from Radcliffe - involved in a major cannabis operation which cultivated tens of thousands of pounds worth of the drug have been sentenced.

Darren Newey, Liam Davies, Anthony Evans, Carl Frost and Mohammed Qabir all appeared at Burnley Crown Court for their parts in the operation.

The gang controlled the production, supply and importation of nearly £20,400 worth of cannabis from a house in Garbett Street, Accrington.

Davies, alongside his partners in crime, Newey and Qabir, was involved in the supply and production of more than 2kg of cannabis, after Qabir offered to pick Newey up in his car from Dover.

The trio used accomplices Evans and Frost to help maintain the plants, including tasking Frost with installing hot water to facilitate the growth of the cannabis and Evans tending to the plants two or three times a week every month.

Some of the plants, if allowed to fully mature, would have yielded 3kg of cannabis, and could have had an estimated a street value of £58,000, prosecutor Neil Bisarya told the court. 

The men were arrested at the Accrington base, which none of them reside at, and all pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a Class B drug, with Qabir also pleading guilty to illegally abstracting electricity.

Defending Davies, Emma Clarke told the court he has been addicted to drugs since he was 14, and has also been addicted to cocaine and alcohol. 

She said Davies began to plan the operation to sell cannabis in order to pay off his own debts from his addictions.

Defending Newey, Umar Shahzad said immediate custody would be detrimental to his mother, as he looks after her as she is unwell and likely to go blind. 

Ms Clarke also defended Qabir, and said he is also addicted to cannabis and found it easier to deal with his addiction through being involved in the operation.

All of the defendants have previous convictions, with Qabir, Davies and Frost having committed crimes related to drugs.

Recorder Michael Blakey sentenced the defendants and also ordered the seizure the drugs, equipment and money that was involved in the operation.

Newey, 50, of Meadowcroft, Radcliffe, was sentenced for two years and three months.

Davies, 34, of Kings Drive, Carnforth, was sentenced for two and a half years.

Qabir, 39, of Heath Street, Rochdale, was sentenced for two-and-a-half years for his offences.

Anthony Evans, 57, of Main Street, Warton, received an 18-month community order and is required to complete 70 hours of unpaid work.

Carl Frost, 34, of Waverley Avenue, Blackpool, was also handed an 18-month community order, and ordered to do 25 hours of unpaid work.