Grenfell Tower survivor facing jail over cannabis factory

A survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire is facing jail after investigators found the remains of his cannabis oil factory in the wreck of the building.

Eamon Zada, 35, was arrested after officers combing the burnt-out tower three weeks after the deadly blaze found a store of cannabis cuttings, butane gas canisters and an oven in his flat.

Zada, who is currently being housed at the Raddison Blu hotel in Portman Square, Marylebone, had produced enough cannabis oil to last one user 140 days, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

On Wednesday, Zada pleaded guilty to one count of being concerned in the supply of cannabis on or before July 4 last year.

The Grenfell Tower caught fire on 14 June last year, killing 71 people, including an unborn child, and leaving hundreds of others homeless.

Ahead of the hearing, lawyers for Zada asked for him to be granted anonymity for fear that the presence of butane canisters could be linked to the blaze and make him the target of violence.

The court heard that Zada is a core participant in the Grenfell inquiry, and that meetings have frequently been interrupted by angry protesters.

Judge Tan Ikram refused the application, saying: "Much may be said during the inquiry and at meetings but that's not enough for this court to resile from the principle of open justice."

Prosecutor Maxine Channer-McDaniel told the court: "On July 4 2017 fire fighters entered Grenfell Tower, a number of items were found at a flat believed to be used in the production of cannabis - lights that related to the growing of cannabis and various other items.

"A number of butane gas canisters meant a more thorough search was conducted on July 6 during which a number of items were seized from the property.

She said the cannabis had been stored in the second bedroom, while an oven had been found in the living room and the gas canisters were stored in the kitchen.

She continued: "The amount of cannabis is described as cannabis trim - of that there was 14 kilos, as well as 700 grams of oil."

"When he was interviewed Mr Zada said he was a regular user of cannabis since the age of 12 and that normal cannabis flower had limited effect.

"He said he had not purchased the trim because it was of no commercial value and had used it to extract the oil.

Zada told officers that he used five to six grams of oil per day, and thereafter refused to make any comment.

Judge Ikram adjourned Zada's sentence until 10am on March 6 to allow time for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

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