Police raid house looking for cannabis factory – but find harmless tomato plants

July 8, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A gardener was horrified when 15 armed police officers raided his home – after his TOMATO plants were mistaken for a cannabis factory.

Father-of-two James Diamond, 34, was asleep when the drugs squad burst into his home in Bream, Gloucestershire.

He woke to find a policeman standing in his bedroom informing him that they were raiding the house to ”take apart” his cannabis factory.

The police team scoured his house but found nothing more sinister than three tomato plants growing in his back garden.

He said: ”It was very frightening. I woke up to see a huge policeman standing in my bedroom and he said: ‘We are here to take your cannabis factory apart.’

”There were officers all over the house and in the back garden and they said that no one was allowed to leave the house.

”It’s shocking to me that someone can just ring up the police and that justifies them getting a warrant and searching your home.”

Officers were let into the home just after 10:30am on Wednesday morning by electricians who were carrying out re-wiring at the property.

James, who works at a garden centre, had just returned with his family from a holiday in Turkey and was still sleeping upstairs along with his three-year-old son Syrus.

He was informed that officers were executing a search warrant ”as a result of information from the local neighbourhood” and that no one was allowed to leave the house.

James said that he has never been in trouble with the police and his only crime was being a keen gardener.

The search resulted in officers finding nothing more than his three tomato plants which were growing in the back garden.

James, who lives at the home with his fiancee Debbie Baker, an NHS chiropodist, and their two children, said he could not believe the police were able to raid his home without any evidence.

He added: ”It was scary for Syrus, who got quite upset when he saw police everywhere.”

James said he is now concerned at what his neighbours will think after seeing police swarm all over the house.

Inspector Chris Thorley, from Gloucestershire police, said: ”We executed a search warrant at an address in Bream as a result of information received from the local neighbourhood.

”We are happy to report that no drugs were found but would like to stress that we take such action because we know that concerns about drug crime is something people like us to address swiftly.”

A simultaneous raid carried out by police at a home in nearby Clearwell, three miles away, resulted in the seizure of 75 cannabis plants.

Police said a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drug cultivation and was being questioned.

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