Cumbria Crack

Burglars sentenced for crime at Eden Valley “drug lords’ mansion”

Carlisle Crown Court

[T]WO men who burgled an Eden Valley stately home which had been used by criminals as a £5 million cannabis factory have been sentenced.

Ben Hopkinson, 26, and Craig Stephen Sinkinson, 29, broke into Flass House, in Maulds Meaburn, during 2011 or 2012. It had previously been abandoned by a criminal gang who plotted to supply vast amounts of cannabis which was grown in 10 rooms of the mansion.

After gang members were jailed by a judge in 2015, “urban explorers” broke into Flass House and uploaded video footage to social media which attracted millions of views. Hopkinson and Sinkinson came to the attention of police when they posted comments in response to that footage and admitted stealing a microphone and clock, respectively. Sinkinson had stated: “She is a big timepiece, let me tell you.”

They admitted burglary, had handed back the low-value items and were sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI).

Lawyers on behalf of the men spoke of a “silly” crime at a building which was “legend” as an “abandoned drug lords’ mansion”.

Recorder Anne Brown gave Hopkinson, of Hyde Park, Edenhall, near Penrith, and Sinkinson, of Castle Court, Penrith, 12-month community orders. The men must each complete 80 hours’ unpaid work.

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