A WHITECROOK man who was caught growing cannabis at his home has been spared a prison sentence - but has made himself a “very obvious target” for police in the process.

Cannabis plants and growing equipment were found at Cameron Welsh’s home when police searched his Fleming Avenue flat on June 1.

Welsh appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of producing a controlled drug.

The 23-year-old originally faced a more serious accusation of being concerned in the supply of herbal cannabis, but his plea of not guilty to that charge was accepted by the Crown.

A background report from social workers was provided to the court in time for Friday’s hearing.

Welsh’s solicitor said: “The report recommends a community payback order [CPO] with supervision, which is the preferred option.

“The report says he was still taking cannabis; he was taking it on a daily basis, but has reduced that to three or four times a week.

“He is aware that he must change his ways, and that’s what he intends to do.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said: “If he is still taking cannabis, he makes himself a very obvious target for a visit from the police.

“I was told by the Crown that the amount grown was valued at £1,800.

“He is only facing a charge of production, for which he should be very grateful.”

Sheriff Hendry told Welsh: “If you had been convicted of charge one [being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug], I would have been thinking about a prison sentence.

“I think you are fortunate not to be continuing to face that charge.

“However, I have to deal with you as a producer of cannabis, and as an alternative to a prison sentence I’m prepared to place you on a CPO.”

Welsh was told to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work within six months as a punishment.

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He will also be supervised by a social worker until September 2020.