Lewes son still on the run - leaving dad to face court over cannabis farm

1:00pm Monday 26th October 2009

By Nigel Freedman

A son who left his dad to take the rap for running a cannabis factory is still believed to be on the run in South America.

Daniel Bayes was branded “monstrous” for failing to return to Britain whilst his 68-year-old father was dragged through the Courts.

Brian Bayes was jailed for three years in January for looking after Daniel’s skunk cannabis plant and laundering £66,000 while his son went around the world.

Police found the plants growing in a barn at Lower House Farm, Laughton, near Lewes.

The haul was uncovered by chance by officers investigating the explosion which killed two fireman at the nearby Festival Fireworks factory in December 2006.

Bayes was found guilty of managing the cannabis farm and money laundering after a trial in November last year.

Judge Charles Kemp said it was “monstrous” that Daniel Bayes had not returned to face the music and had left his dad to take the rap alone.

But Brian Bayes was back at Lewes Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing this week.

It is alleged he could have made up to £600,000 from the cannabis farm operation.

Bayes claims that because he was only looking after the farm for his son he did not benefit financially.

Judge Kemp adjourned the hearing to a date to be fixed when he will rule on legal issues in the case.

Daniel Bayes was last heard from while he was living in Venezuela.

He sent his family an email saying he could not return to Britain because his wife was ill.

Daniel, who worked in computers, was once suspended from St Beads School, Upper Dicker, after he was caught with cannabis.

One investigator in the case said: “Daniel Bayes has still not returned to Britain and we do not know where he is.”

When Brian Bayes was jailed in January his barrister Frank Winslett said: “He was not the prime mover or the one who set up the cannabis factory.

“His involvement was more that of looking after it.”

Judge Kemp said when sentencing Bayes: “You were looking after that plant in the absence of your son.

“I take a very dim view that he should have left hs parents to face the risk of prosecution and ultimately your conviction.”

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