A DRUG user was arrested after setting up what he thought was a secret £9,000 cannabis farm next door to his mum’s.

He was arrested after two men broke in, trying to steal the plants, a court heard.

Oliver O’Brien, 23, had enlisted help to get the men, one of them said to be masked, out of the property, but police turned up and detained both the raiders and O’Brien.

At Burnley Crown Court, O’Brien, of Burnley Lane, Huncoat, admitted producing the drug, between October and December last year.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with a 12-week, 9pm to 7am curfew. He must pay £300 costs.

David Macro, prosecuting, said O’Brien had owned up on the basis he would have supplied any surplus cannabis to a friend, if asked.

Last December 27, at about 4am, police were called to Burnley Lane. Mr Macro said police found the plants had been cut and just remnants were left in pots.

Officers went next door to the defendant’s mother’s house and found two holdalls and a plastic bag full of cannabis which had been harvested.

The potential value of the crop was £9,720.

O’Brien gave a prepared statement when questioned, saying he had rented the house, had been approached by a man who asked if it could be used for growing cannabis and he eventually gave in.

He said he heard noises from next door, realised the house was being burgled, went round and shouted for the culprits to leave.

O’Brien said he saw the bags of cannabis and took them next door. The defendant claimed he saw the two men and one shouted he was going to kill him.

The hearing was told O’Brien did not have a record for drugs.