A landlord who turned the upstairs of a Mottingham pub into a weed farm was caught after a hoax 999 call led police to the boozer. 

Philip Peters was the landlord of the Royal Tavern on Court Road when a 999 call reported that a child has been injected with heroin and was in cardiac arrest at the pub. 

When police attended they suspected the call was a hoax but searched the entire pub regardless. 

In the upstairs of the pub officers discovered a huge cannabis farm with as well as evidence that Peters was running a counterfeit £20 note operation. 

The discovery was made in July 2019 but due to delays in the criminal justice system Peters didn't make it to court until four years on. 

On Tuesday (June 4, 2024) Peters, 44, of Edward Tyler Road in Eltham, walked free with a suspended sentence due to the court delays and overcrowded prisons. 

News Shopper: Peters was landlord at The Royal Tavern, also known as The RoyalPeters was landlord at The Royal Tavern, also known as The Royal (Image: Google)

A mystery call 

The mystery call was made shortly before 11pm on July 5, 2019. 

Peters told officers there was no child in the pub but reluctantly allowed them to carry out a search. 

In the upstairs living area officers found a weed farm with 155 cannabis plants in various stages of growth, prosecutor Chloe Hucker said. 

They also found snap bags and scales which indicated he had been dealing. 

On an iPhone seized from the property officers also found many texts indicating that Peters had been selling counterfeit £20 notes, Ms Hucker said. 

The prosecution believe that he sold five counterfeit £20 notes for £20. 

At least £15,000 of counterfeit currency passed through his hands between January and July 2019. 

Between his weed business and counterfeit currency operation Peters made at least £20,000, Judge Charlotte Welsh said. 

News Shopper: Philip PetersPhilip Peters (Image: Supplied)

A suspended sentence 

Although Peters was arrested, he wasn’t charged until March 2023. 

In the meantime he became embroiled in a larger drug conspiracy involving 18 defendants in which he rented a storage locker in Eltham to store a shipment of cannabis. 

For that offence he was jailed for two years and six months in July 2022. He has now been released from prison. 

When Peters was charged in relation to the Mottingham matters he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis, cultivation of cannabis and being in control of counterfeit currency. 

Judge Welsh, sentencing Peters, said: “The offence could and should have been dealt with at the same time as your previous offending. 

“It is not your fault that it wasn't. The fault has to lie with the crown and the pandemic does not account for the delay.” 

She sentenced him to 15 months in custody and decided to suspended the sentence for two years. 

Judge Welsh explained: “I am just about satisfied of two things. Firstly, that there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation given the age of this offence and that you have since spent a period of time in custody. 

“And secondly, what still is a very overcrowded situation in prison. 

“I have therefore decided to suspend this sentence, but it is by a whisker. If it had been prosecuted at the time there would have been no way I could have suspended this sentence.” 

Peters was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. 

No order for costs was made at Peters is currently receiving benefits.