The part-time judge who sentenced jobless Jamie Craggs told him he should consider applying for a job on Gardeners’ Question Time.
A court heard West Yorkshire Police officers executed a search warrant at Cragg’s home and initially thought they had come across a sophisticated cannabis farm as the room was filled with foliage.
Officers were surprised when they realised that the growth was only coming from four plants within the room.
Elliot Kay, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that the plants had a “healthy growth” and were capable of producing an annual yield of £14,000 of strong skunk cannabis.
Craggs, of Manor Grove, Pontefract, was interviewed by police and accepted he had grown the plants and installed hydroponic equipment to fund his own habit but said he never had any intention of selling the drug to anyone. Craggs pleaded guilty to producing a class B drug.
Ian Hustler, mitigating, said: “He did have a heavy cannabis habit and that is why he bought the equipment.
“He was just more successful than he anticipated.
“That is simply all there is to it. It seems he has green fingers, without making light of it.”
Recorder Paul Isaacs said: “A job on Gardener’s Question Time is what he should be looking at.”
Mr Hustler replied: “I had similar success with my tomatoes last year.”
Craggs was made the subject of a 12 month community order and told to do 120 hours unpaid work.
Recorder Isaacs told him: “Do not misplace the levity for the seriousness of your behaviour and your offending.
“It is important for you to appreciate that you came within a hair’s breadth of going to prison for this.
“The next time it may be that you will not receive the leniency I am going to show you.”