AN AYR man started growing his own cannabis as he couldn’t afford to buy the illegal substance.

Police found John Gemmell cultivating one plant when they burst into his flat in Stonecrop Place in July last year.

The 50-year-old, who lives off benefits, told cops he was growing the drug for personal use as he couldn’t afford to buy it on the streets, Ayr Sheriff Court heard.

Depute Fiscal Mr Scott Toal said: “Police officers attended the address on respect of an other matter. They could smell cannabis.

“The accused said he was growing for personal use and he couldn’t afford it.”

Sheriff Desmond Leslie deferred sentence for Gemmell to be of good behaviour and the case will be reviewed in June next year. The sheriff told him: “If it happens again, then it’ll be a problem.”