A young man was caught on a live local news show carrying a suspicious-looking pot plant out of a known cannabis farm – before doing a runner.
The episode, filmed live by KMTV, took place as local news anchor Cameron Tucker was giving a live report about a couple that were caught growing almost 100 plants inside a stunning thatched cottage.
Yvette and Neil Hartley narrowly avoided prison despite cops finding a whopping 88 cannabis plants growing at their £500,000 thatched cottage, in rural Hoath, Kent.
The pair were hit with a suspended sentence on Monday, but the local TV channel went to their cottage for the evening news on Tuesday.
Black pot and a tall, leafy plant
The man, wearing a black shirt and tan shorts, walked out from behind a neighbouring cottage carrying a black pot and a tall, leafy plant that, from a distance, might be mistaken for the illegal drug.
When he realised he was on camera, the lad took off at a sprint and ran out of shot – just as the local reporter turned around.
During the live feed, Cameron said: “Well last August when it was found that Neil and Yvette Hartley had been growing about 90 cannabis plants.
“Little did their neighbours know that in this quiet pretty little corner of the Kent countryside, the cottage just over my shoulder has been where they had been growing cannabis.”
Kent Police are aware
Kent Police are aware of the hilarious footage but are not aware of any crimes being committed.
Charity worker Yvette and loss adjuster Neil admitted producing the Class B drug, but claimed it was for their own use.
Mrs Hartley first claimed their plant stash would be used to make cannabis oil to treat cancer.
Neil, 45, and Yvette, 48, both pleaded guilty to producing the Class B drug, but a sympathetic judge spared the pair jail, at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday.
Recorder Jonathan Davies took pity on the couple, who ran a ‘well established cannabis factory’ as part of ‘a much larger operation’.
He said: “You risked their futures by your conduct because you must have known the consequences of what you were doing.
“I am not sure if either of you has ever told the truth about this operation, which would have involved daily attention and was done for financial reasons.
“I suspect the cannabis oil was just a smokescreen to cover up the nature of it.”
Each of the growers was given a 22-month jail sentence at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
The couple, who have since moved, were also told they had to remain at their home under a 12-week night-time curfew order.
Additional reporting by SWNS
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