THIS is dozy cannabis grower Matthew Warnes who was caught because he was so outraged when his plants were stolen that he called 999 to report the theft to police.
Bumbling Warnes, aged 29, was immediately arrested when police officers arrived at his home in Catcliffe, Rotherham, in the early hours of July 4 and discovered more plants and an unsophisticated growing setup.
The court heard that he had spent £250 of his Christmas money on growing equipment which he bought from internet auction site eBay because he was finding it too expensive to buy the class B drug on the streets.
Prosecuting at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court Mark Hughes said: “He called the police to say that three of his cannabis plants had been stolen.
“When they arrived they found a further three intact cannabis plants from 18 to 42 centimetres in height and a small growing set-up.
“They also found bags containing cuttings of dried cannabis suggesting that this was a continuing operation.”
Warnes admitted producting the Class B drug.
Louisa Giblin, defending him, said it was not a sophisticated growing operation and called on the district judge not to impose a custodial sentence.
District Judge Jane Goodwin sentenced Warnes to 26 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months .
She warned him if he committed any other crimes he would have to come back to court and serve the time in addition to any other sentence.
She also ordered him to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
The district judge said: “The fact that you yourself phoned the police to report this is not a mitigating factor.”
Warnes of New Street, Catcliffe, was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs.
He refused to comment as he left court.