A cannabis grower in Lincoln was robbed of his crop by a masked gang who turned up at his home.
Steven McNeil was left terrified after the gang, armed with weapons, attacked his home and called in police resulting in his own prosecution for growing the plants.
Noel Philo, prosecuting, said “He telephoned the police at 9am to say he was being burgled by extremely unpleasant people who were using weapons and threats. They removed 15 cannabis plants from his home.
“It is quite clear from what he admitted that he had a small commercial cannabis growing operation. This was his third crop. He told the police he had managed to make £6,000 from each of the two previous crops.
“It was quite clearly a commercial operation. It was his own operation. He was trying to clear debts.”
McNeil, 39, of Nightingale Crescent, Lincoln, admitted a charge of producing a controlled drug. He was given a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work.
Sunil Khanna, in mitigation, said that McNeil had been working as a train driver but lost his job following a random drug test.
“He accepts that cannabis has, in effect, destroyed his life. When he telephoned the police these men were attacking his home. They had balaclavas on and weapons.”