Man found with cannabis after calling police to home

A SOUTH Kirkby man was found with stolen goods and a number of cannabis plants after calling the police to his own door.

Robert Taylor, 39, of Burntwood Grove, phoned the police claiming someone had been in his house and had left things behind.

Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard last Wednesday that officers who attended the alleged break in on September 24 became suspicious after smelling cannabis.

Taylor told them he was growing it for personal use and showed them his wardrobe, where four cannabis plants were growing.

The police officers also found metal goal posts and fixings that had been stolen from an HGV parked outside Burntwood Community Centre two days earlier.

Taylor was arrested, interviewed at the police station and bailed.

The following day, police were called to reports of two men acting suspiciously at the back of Heron food store, Barnsley Road, South Elmsall.

They found Taylor with a small wooden-handled lock knife near his ankle and he was arrested for a second time.

Taylor pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon, production of cannabis and theft by finding at a previous hearing.

Rob Fones, mitigating, said: “The defendant contacted police to report a burglary because he believed someone had been in his home and had left some property there. He pointed out that he was growing cannabis and admitted that the goal posts were stolen and said he found them.

“He told police he understood what he did was wrong but it became clear there were difficulties with his mental health. It came as no surprise when I was later contacted by his family saying he had been sectioned and was in Fieldhead.

“He was using cannabis and alcohol had been an issue in the past. His time in hospital has changed him. He won’t be troubling this court again.”

Taylor was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order with 200 hours of unpaid work for possessing an offensive weapon in public.

He received no separate penalty for the production of cannabis and theft by finding charges. He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs.

Magistrate Don Walker said: “The offences are so serious that carrying a knife alone could carry an immediate custody sentence. We have taken into account the mitigation and the work you have done yourself. We are giving you your chance, if you want to take it that is up to you. If you don’t you will be going straight to prison.”