A 44-year-old millionaire businessman pleads guilty to cultivating magic mushrooms at his £ 1.3 million Henry VIII castle in Kent
- Simon Giles, 44, pleaded guilty to producing psychedelic substances
- In January last year he faced the eviction of his £ 1.4 million castle house in Kent
- The case has been postponed for a mention hearing on July 26th
A millionaire businessman has admitted to growing magic mushrooms at his castle house in Kent, where King Henry VIII did justice and hunted.
Simon Giles, 44, pleaded guilty today in Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, to producing the psychedelic substances psilocin and psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, between September 1, 2020 and May 6, 2021. .
Police visited his home in the south wing of Grade II Lullingstone Castle in the village of Eynsford, near Sevenoaks, on an unrelated subject and discovered the Class A drug during a search.
Millionaire businessman Simon Giles, 44, pleaded guilty to producing the psychedelic drug magic mushrooms at his Kent castle. The Class A drug was discovered after a police visit for an unrelated matter
He was then accused by mail of producing “brown mushroom material.”
Prosecutor Bridget Todd told Friday’s hearing that at the time the drug was found, which the judge referred to as “a relatively small amount of organic matter,” police also discovered fertilizer, a crop and seal bags.
He said an expert report was needed before sentencing to assess the quality of the psychoactive substance and clarify whether it was consistent with personal use.
Alexander Upton, Giles’ defense attorney, told Judge Registrar Edmund Burge QC that an expert defense report may also be required once they have seen the conclusion of the prosecution’s report.
He said, “These are magic mushrooms. A small sting of a mushroom can be zero grams in the morning, but if one returns in the afternoon, it can be four or five grams. Other drugs do not multiply overnight as mushrooms do. ‘
In the photo: the gate of the castle house, which dates from 1497. The estate was formerly used by King Henry VIII for jousting and hunting.
The estate was also visited by Queen Anna and has a vineyard, a 19-hectare lake, formal gardens, a Tudor hut dating from 1497 and a chapel.
In January last year, Giles, whose job is listed at Companies House as an investment manager, was facing the eviction of his £ 1.4 million house at Lullingstone Castle after a High Court battle with HSBC Bank.
Most of the 15th-century property, where the Tudor monarch is known to have visited Queen Anna and hunted and played on the estate grounds, is owned by the Hart-Dyke family.
It was also home to the Silk Farm of the 1930s, which produced silk for the coronation tunics and wedding dress of Queen Elizabeth II.
Most of the estate is owned by the Hart Dyke family (pictured) and has presided over it since the 15th century.
Giles, who now lives in Rectory Place, Hawkwood Lane, Chislehurst, Kent, also pleaded guilty at the same court hearing to possessing a prohibited weapon: a stunning device disguised as a cell phone.
Registrar Burge QC said a parole report could be ordered to help the sentence given Giles’ age and good character earlier, but no date was set for that hearing.
He said the prosecution’s expert report would assess “the strength of the psychoactive substance within the organic material”.
Miss Todd added that they had to determine “whether it is consistent with personal use or not.”
The case has been postponed for a remand hearing on July 26 for the prosecution to “update the court on its position and what the next steps are for the defense.”
Giles has been released on unconditional bail, but the judge warned him to keep in touch with his lawyer.