A man given five cannabis plants as reward for helping a pal clear away a drugs farm was caught when police called at his home on an unrelated inquiry.
Kieron Wright, 27, at first refused to come to the door of his home in Grafton Street, Millfield, Sunderland – and his mum even denied he was at home.
When he then climbed out onto a roof to shout to ask them what they wanted on Tuesday, September 8, officers could already smell the drug from the street.
Wright then came clean about his crime – but his openness led to him being charged with a more serious offence, magistrates in South Tyneside were told.
They heard he told police how he had attained the batch, meaning he was charged with cannabis production rather than possession.
Prosecutor Marc Atkins said: “Officers attended an address in Grafton Street, in order to arrest the defendant for another offence.
“The defendant’s mother said he wasn’t at the property, but the defendant then climbed out of the loft and came onto the roof and asked what they wanted.
“He refused to come down to the door. To his credit, he told them that he had cannabis in the loft that they could also smell.
“After about ten minutes he let them in. There is cannabis bush on the loft floor and some more hanging on a radiator.
“He told officers that he had helped a friend dismantle a cannabis farm and that he was given five plants.
“There was 215g of cannabis, which was for his own use. There was no equipment for commercial production.”
Mark McAlindon, defending, said Wright had previously used crack cocaine and switching to cannabis was a way to move to a lesser drug.
He added: “The yield from the drugs was about 40g. It’s now an offence of some age.
“This could have been charged as possession, but it was production due to what he said in his interview.”Wright was fined £120 after pleading guilty to production of a controlled Class B drug, and must pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.