The couple, who are in their sixties have been given three years for running a cannabis factory in their Sutton farmhouse, using the money they made to help sick and poor children in Kenya.

Michael Foster and Susan Cooper paid for children of the Kenyan village to go to school, bought computers for an eye hospital nearby and paid for the amputation of a diseased leg that threatened to kill a young man.

A court was told that growing cannabis had started as a hobby and turned into a business, which made about £400,000 during the six-year operation. “Much of it” was spent in Africa, reports The Telegraph.

 Police found 159 cannabis plants, worth an estimated £20,000 at the farmhouse. Two of the buildings had been converted into a growing room and drying room. Officers also recovered £20,000 in £1,000 bundles from a carrier bag.

Prosecutor Jon Dee said: “This was a professional and commercial set-up.”

Mr Foster, 62, admitted to regularly selling cannabis in deals of around £1,500 to a local drug dealer to whom he had been introduced through a loan shark.

Judge Sean Morris when passing the sentence said: “I am sure you were doing good things in Kenya with your drugs money, whether that was to appease your consciences I can only speculate.”

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