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Yorks cops bust Bradford guinea pig farm

Cannabis 'hothouse' alert ends in cavy anti-climax

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Yorkshire cops have apologised after swooping on a suspected Bradford cannabis "hothouse", only to find a couple of pampered guinea pigs languishing by an electric heater.

Six officers in three vehicles descended on Pam Hardcastle's house after a police chopper's dope-busting camera picked up a suspicious infrared hotspot.

Yorkshire's finest also dispatched a plod to request that the 42-year-old primary school learning mentor return pronto from work. She told the Yorkshire Post: "The officer said they wanted me to go home. He said my garage lit up when the police helicopter was out and they believed I could be growing cannabis."

Back at the scene, meanwhile, Hardcastle's mum explained to the anti-drug SWAT team her daughter "had guinea pigs in the garage and would have a heater in there to keep them warm".

The coppers, however, pressed on with the operation, and having gained entry to the facility, "took one look at the guinea pigs, then left".

Hardcastle concluded: "My neighbours told me police were everywhere. Everybody was asking what I had done wrong. It is embarrassing."

West Yorkshire Police Inspector Darren Brown offered: "I would like to apologise for the distress this may have caused. However, I would point out that these tactics are essential in tackling drugs across the district."

He reassured: "I can also reassure the occupants that their details will not be kept on police records and I will be personally visiting them to discuss any concerns they may have."

The guinea pigs - named Simon and Kenny, the Sun helpfully notes - are apparently none the worse for their ordeal. The paper has a snap of Hardcastle and Simon, plus a grab of the glowing garage, right here. ®

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