A HIDDEN bunker built under a shed was unearthed by cops, only to reveal a disturbing secret.
Pictures seen by a judge at Oxford Crown Court yesterday showed the hidden trapdoor and a flight of steps leading to a grotto below.
Akil Budini, 40, had the sizeable cellar built beneath a shed in the property he shared with his partner, which was understood to have been in Cowley, Oxford.
And the extraordinary secret bunker’s purpose was a subterranean drugs operation, informes Oxford Mail.
Cops raided the bunker last year to find several kilos of cannabis in clear plastic bags together with hydroponic growing equipment.
The drugs kingpin said to have been involved in directing the enterprise is currently at large, having failed to appear before the Oxford magistrates last month.
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Judge Michael Gledhill KC adjourned sentence for the preparation of a probation report, which would consider whether the defendant could be punished in the community.
But he said he was ordering a probation report against his ‘better judgement’.
He told the court: “I have got to send a very clear message out that those who facilitate the supply of drugs by constructing a substantial bunker in which to hide drugs – even if it’s on behalf of others – in the garden, under a shed of their partner, the mother of their children, must be dealt with by way of an immediate sentence.”
He added of the fact that he was adjourning for a pre-sentence report: “Nobody must think that I’m giving any sort of indication let alone promises that I will impose anything other than an immediate custodial sentence.”
Having been asked earlier in the day why it had taken so long to charge the three defendants, prosecutor Steven Molloy said the matter had been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service by Thames Valley Police for advice on charging in June this year.
Charges were then authorised by the CPS two months later.