EastEnders’ Gillian Taylforth’s ex-fiance arrested after police raid ‘£850,000 cannabis factory’


EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth’s ex-fiancee has been arrested after police raided a suspected £850,000 cannabis factory at his farm.  

Dave Fairbairn, 64, was detained alongside two other men on Tuesday at a rural property in Arrington, Cambridgeshire.

Police raided the outbuildings at the farm following a tip-off from the public and found 1,000 illegal plants worth nearly a million pounds. 

The raid on the farm, which has Fairbairn’s name on the Land Registry records, also saw three suspected stolen vehicles impounded.  

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police said: ‘We have uncovered a cannabis factory in Arrington worth more than an estimated £850,000.

Dave Fairbairn, 64, (pictured alongside ex-fiancee EastEnders' Gillian Taylforth) was detained alongside two other men on Tuesday at a rural property in Arrington, Cambridgeshire

Dave Fairbairn, 64, (pictured alongside ex-fiancee EastEnders’ Gillian Taylforth) was detained alongside two other men on Tuesday at a rural property in Arrington, Cambridgeshire

Police raided the outbuildings at the farm following a tip-off from the public and found 1,000 illegal plants (pictured) worth nearly a million pounds

Police raided the outbuildings at the farm following a tip-off from the public and found 1,000 illegal plants (pictured) worth nearly a million pounds 

The raid on the farm, which has Fairbairn's name on the Land Registry records, also saw three suspected stolen vehicles impounded. Pictured: Outbuildings at the farm

The raid on the farm, which has Fairbairn’s name on the Land Registry records, also saw three suspected stolen vehicles impounded. Pictured: Outbuildings at the farm

‘Two men aged 32 and 37 attempted to run off when police arrived but were detained and arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and immigration offences.

‘A third man, aged 64, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and handling stolen goods. They all remain in custody.’  

Sergeant Rob Taylor said: ‘This find has stopped a substantial amount of illegal drugs finding their way to the streets.

‘It’s vital we get information such as this from the public so we can tackle the production and supply of drugs in the county.’ 

Gillian Taylforth, who is best known for playing Kathy Beale in Eastenders, first started dating David Fairbairn in 2013. 

But the pair called off their engagement in December after sources said that a ‘string of disagreements’ had put their relationship under strain.

Taylforth began a relationship with Geoff Knights in the late 1980s. They lived in Hertfordshire and later in Cambridgeshire together.

The raid on the farm, which has Fairbairn's name on the Land Registry records, also saw three suspected stolen vehicles impounded

The raid on the farm, which has Fairbairn’s name on the Land Registry records, also saw three suspected stolen vehicles impounded

Gillian Taylforth, who is best known for playing Kathy Beale in Eastenders, first started dating David Fairbairn in 2013

Gillian Taylforth, who is best known for playing Kathy Beale in Eastenders, first started dating David Fairbairn in 2013

In January 1994, Taylforth was involved in a high-profile court case when she sued The Sun for libel after they ran a story claiming she and Knights had performed sexual acts on a slip road on the A1 in their Range Rover.

Taylforth claimed that Knights had suffered an acute attack of pancreatitis and she was massaging his stomach to soothe his abdominal pain.

A police officer, however, claimed that she was performing a sexual act instead.

During the court case, defence counsel George Carman presented a 35-minute home video of Taylforth ‘suggestively posing with a large sausage […] graphically simulating masturbation with a wine bottle’ and boasting ‘I give very good head’. 

The jury returned a 10-2 majority verdict in favour of The Sun, after which Taylforth collapsed and was taken away by an ambulance.

Taylforth left EastEnders in 1988 and was cast as Jackie Pascoe-Webb in ITV’s popular televised drama Footballers’ Wives. 

She played the role for all five series, which made her the only cast member to appear in every series without taking a break.

In 2006, she played the role of Mandy Searle in Jane Hall and she also has appeared as a recurring panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.  

She won a regular part in police drama The Bill playing playing Sergeant Nikki Wright in 2006 before leaving two years later. 

In January 2013, Taylforth became a housemate on the eleventh series of Celebrity Big Brother. She was the fourth person to be evicted after 15 days.



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