A CANNABIS ‘farmer’ called the police after seeing masked men approaching his house.

Blackburn Magistrates’ Court heard how Daniel Walker fled from his home after the men smashed a window, and forced entry.

But when he returned, he was arrested for cultivating cannabis, and dishonest abstraction of electricity.

Walker, 30, of Barnes Street, Church, pleaded guilty to both charges.

He was made subject to community supervision for nine months, with a six months’ drug rehabilitation requirement.

Carl Gaffney, prosecuting, said there was a growing cottage industry of people cultivating cannabis in their own homes.

“One of the consequences is that certain criminals lay prey to these people,” said Mr Gaffney.

“Burglaries are taking place not for the hi-fi, or TV, but because of the local knowledge that there is cannabis growing in the house.”

Mr Gaffney said Walker had called the police when he became aware of men wearing balaclavas outside.

Rachael Griffiths, defending, said while Walker was on the phone to the police, a brick was thrown through the window, narrowly missing him.

“He was scared for his own safety and ran from the house,” said Miss Griffiths.

“He grows his own cannabis because he doesn’t want to mix with other drug users, or street dealers.”