A CANNABIS user who was set to harvest a bumper crop and save himself thousands of pounds in the process ended up in the dock at court after two curious cops got wind of his illegal scheme.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard that James Mimnagh had been cultivating mature cannabis plants and saplings in a house in Lochwinnoch in a move which would save him up to £3,000.
But the distinctive smell of the hash in the house led to his downfall – for the noses of two passing policemen began to twitch as they were on foot patrol in High Street, Lochwinnoch, on a Friday afternoon in October last year.
And, recognising the odour, the officers sought a search warrant to raid the house while 30-year-old Mimnagh was out at work.
Depute fiscal John Millar told the court that cops who went into the flat discovered sophisticated equipment in use, including specialist lighting, heating apparatus, lights and fans, to encourage the growth of the cannabis plants.
Mimnagh was traced by police and owned up to the crime.
When the case against Mimnagh was called in court, he admitted producing quantities of the controlled drug.
Mr Millar confirmed that the Crown accepted that Mimnagh, of Whirlie Road, Crosslee, had been cultivating the plants for his own use and not for onward supply.
There were up to 30 mature plants discovered in the house in Lochwinnoch, each of which could potentially yield £100 worth of cannabis, he said.
Sheriff Carol Kelly told Mimnagh that he had pleaded guilty to a serious charge.
She deferred sentence until Tuesday, October 12, and called for background reports and a community service assessment, ordering the accused to return to court on that date for final disposal.
Last night, police urged members of the public to be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs that cannabis plants are being grown in a property nearby.
These include blacked-out windows, a distinctive sweet odour and a low-level humming sound, possibly caused by fans heating the plants.
Anyone who believes a cannabis factory is in operation can ring Paisley Police Office on 0141 532 5900 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.