Murderer Melvyn McLellan's mother and stepfather jailed for producing cannabis after judge dismisses cover-up claims
A MOTHER and her partner were jailed for producing cannabis after a judge dismissed "fantastical" and "preposterous" claims they were victims of corrupt police officers trying to cover up framing her son for murder 18 years ago.
Barbara Wakefield and Nick Riley, of Sixhills Street, Grimsby – the mother and stepfather of convicted murderer Melvyn 'Aidie' McLellan – were jailed at Grimsby Crown Court after fighting their accusations of cannabis production for two years.
However, the couple still contest the facts, telling the court that they were the victims of police corruption.
The court heard police found 1.5kg of cannabis in their former Heneage Road home in three separate rooms in October 2010.
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Riley, 47, claimed that he had taken the equipment from the home of a friend, Jason Short, who he found hanging in his Grimsby Road home on July 28, 2010, which the police attended.
He had originally claimed that the 1.5kg of cannabis, worth £3,340, was for personal medicinal use.
However, representing himself at the latest hearing, he tried to retract his guilty plea in favour of an even more outlandish defence.
Riley claimed to the court that his deceased friend Short bought his cannabis production equipment – which he believed was seized by police from previous operations – from two police officers for £1,000, promising a share of the crop.
He alleged at the hearing that one of these officers, Dave Chapman, had become involved in a relationship with Vicky Sanders, the former lover of McLellan, and the two conspired to have him framed for the murder of Gregory Dalton in 1995 – and he had since adopted McLellan's daughter.
McLellan used this conspiracy as a defence in 1997 and the jury rejected it and convicted him – but Riley told the court he had evidence that the police were trying to "shut me up".
Riley claimed that he was growing the cannabis because the two officers in question "would be back for it", intending to set them up to be caught.
Judge Graham Buckingham dismissed his "serious allegations" as "fantastical", sentencing him to 15 months in prison for the production of a controlled drug.
Wakefield, 59, previously claimed that she had no knowledge of the operation but was proven guilty by a jury after a trial.
Judge Robinson also said that Wakefield's claim that she was "unaware" of the operation was "preposterous", given its scale, and sentenced her to eight weeks in prison for allowing a controlled substance to be produced on her premises.