A MAN arrested after police officers invited into his house discovered his cannabis plants has been fined £300.
Gary Hunter had called police to report another crime, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.
But when he opened the door to officers they smelled the distinctive aroma of marijuana.
The 22-year-old already had a conviction for cultivating cannabis and was on probation at the time of the crime, the court was told.
Iain Smith, defending, said the offence was “low level” because the accused was only growing a few plants for personal use.
He said: “There was only a 50/50 chance of the plants yielding the drug. He persisted because he didn’t want to become involved with dealers and the like.”
He claimed Hunter had not smoked dope for 12 weeks thanks to the help of his GP and social worker. Hunter, from Broxburn, West Lothian, appeared for sentence yesterday.
He earlier pleaded guilty to cultivating the Class B drug in his former home in nearby Armadale on March 16.
Sheriff Donald Muirhead revoked the probation order and fined Hunter £300. He also put him under supervision for two years on a community payback order.
He told the accused: “Growing cannabis is not a particularly good idea, particularly for someone with mental health difficulties.
“Where somebody grows cannabis, gets caught then grows it again I’d normally be thinking of custody. The state will be keeping an eye on you for another two years and if there’s any breach of the payback order you’ll be brought back here for sentence.”
The case follows that of cannabis grower David Williamson, who was jailed for ten months in October after reporting the theft of his cannabis plants to police.
Officers were called to Williamson’s Sighthill home to investigate reports that he had been assaulted and robbed.
But he ended up in court for volunteering that the stolen property was two of his prized cannabis plants.