Three accused of drug offences

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The Independent Online

Three people have appeared in court in relation to drugs and firearms offences after being charged as part of an investigation into the shooting of a suspected burglar.

West Mercia Police officers investigating an alleged break-in at a property in Herefordshire last Wednesday night found a "well-organised and large-scale" cannabis farm during forensic searches of the house.

Malcolm White, 62, from Whitbourne, Herefordshire, appeared in front of Hereford Magistrates' Court today charged with producing a controlled class B drug and possession of a firearm without a certificate, West Mercia Police said.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the same court on Monday.

Josephine Merrick, 57, from Brook Farm in Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire, has been charged with the same offence of producing a controlled drug.

She has been released on police bail and is due back at court next month.

A third person, Darren Randall, 24, of Yardley Fields Road, Birmingham, appeared in front of magistrates charged with three counts of possessing ammunition for a firearm without a certificate, production of a class B controlled drug, aggravated burglary of a dwelling with intent and possessing ammunition for a firearm when prohibited to do so for five years.

He was remanded in custody to appear back in court in the new year.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said a man in his 20s who received gunshot injuries to his right leg remains in hospital. He is not under arrest.

The charges followed two incidents - a reported burglary at the property in Whitbourne and the shooting of a man found with injuries around 12 miles away in Leigh Sinton.

The spokesman added that another man, in his 20s, who was arrested on Thursday in the West Midlands area on suspicion of burglary has been released on police bail.

Source: PA