A FATHER was forced to turn his home in a drugs factory to pay off a loan shark, a court heard.

Thugs then stormed Martin Bayly’s home and threatened his family with knives after he told the illegal lender he would turn off the electricity to the cannabis farm they had installed in his loft.

When Bayly, 26, reported the aggravated burglary to police and they arrived to discover 12 cannabis plants, complete with hydroponics. He was then arrested.

Bayly, of Sexton Road, Tilbury, admitted producing class B drugs when he appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court last week.  The court heard that officers were called to Bayly’s home at about 1am on March 3 following reports of an aggravated burglary.

Police smelt cannabis, searched the house and discovered a section of the loft had been partitioned off, and turned in to a growing room.

Bayly was arrested and taken to Grays police station where he told officers he had been forced to set up the operation by a loan shark.

The court heard Bayly had borrowed some cash from a woman in Chadwell Heath, but the interest had rocketed and he had not been able to make the repayments.

Last October, the woman called him and said he would have to conceal a drugs factory inside his house in order to settle the debt.

The court heard a few weeks later how the woman, and two men, arrived at Bayly’s home and set up the cannabis factory.

Bayly called the woman a few weeks later and told her he did not want the drugs in his house and he would turn off the power.

The court heard the loan shark told Bayly: “You will get what is coming to you.”

Days later four men stormed the house and threatened Bayly’s family.

In mitigation Bayly told the court he was not a drug user and he was planning to leave Tilbury and start a new life elsewhere.

Sentencing was adjourned while the Probation Service prepare a pre-sentence report.