Northampton supply teacher jailed for running a cannabis factory at home was arrested at his school

Former teacher at The Duston School, Daniel Twigger, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for cultivating a cannabis grow and selling it for wholesale amounts.
Former teacher at The Duston School, Daniel Twigger, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for cultivating a cannabis grow and selling it for wholesale amounts.

An IT teacher at a secondary school in Northampton has been jailed for 20 months after police discovered he was running a wholesale cannabis growing operation from a spare room.

Daniel Twigger, 33, who taught at Duston School until his arrest, had already pleaded guilty to two charges of producing cannabis at his home between January and September 2015.

At his sentencing hearing yesterday, prosecutor Jonathan Cox described how 36 plants were found growing when police raided the Corby home where Twigger lived alone on September last year.

The "sophisticated" set-up in the house included high-powered lighting and ventilation systems, which Mr Cox said showed that Twigger was engaged in a one-man wholesale growing operation intended to deliver the "maximum yield."

Together with already harvested cannabis found at the property, the prosecutor said Twigger was likely to have earned an annual income of between £12,000 and £45,000 from the operation.

Police arrested him at The Duston School the same day, where he was taken away in an unmarked car.

Further investigation of a mobile phone showed evidence of agreed sales between the defendant and buyers of over and above an ounce of cannabis at a time. A "debt list" was also discovered in his car with 14 names on it.

Defending for him, Derek Johashen said Twigger was a "man of exemplary character" who was also one of three carers for his brother.

He said the defendant, of Boughton Road, Corby, had initially started growing the plants for personal use, but progressed onto bigger yields.

"He has fallen from grace," Mr Johashen added. "From a good man of society to a person arrested in his place of work.

"He has to live with the shame of what he has done.

"His punishment was the day he got arrested in September, 2015."

But Judge Timothy Smith said he could not suspend the sentence or pass a community order on Twigger.

He said: "That embarrassment you felt is entirely of your own criminal offending and there is no one else that can take the blame for that."

Head of Duston School Maureen Rain said Twigger only taught there for a short while as he was a supply teacher, but she said he was professional during his time there.

She said: "The school was not involved in any way - this was all in his personal life."