Green-fingered Shane Burfield was so proud of his healthy plants that, like an increasing number of amateur horticulturists, he decided to show the progress of his cherished crop off to other enthusiasts on YouTube.Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, Avon and Somerset police also took an interest in Burfield’s plants and he was fined today for the cultivation and possession of cannabis.
Outside court, Burfield admitted he had probably been a little, well, dopey, to post the images under his own name on the site.
“I put the videos on YouTube because I saw other plants on there and wanted other growers to see what I was doing,” he said.
“I had over 300 comments on the videos and thousands of hits from people all over the world interested in growing – it was kind of like a hobby for me.
“It was a big surprise when the old bill came knocking on my door with two riot vans and thinking about it it was pretty silly to put my name on there. I’ve definitely learnt my lesson – next time I won’t be putting it on YouTube.”
Burfield pleaded guilty at Sedgemoor magistrates in Bridgwater, Somerset, to cultivation and possession of cannabis and was fined and told to pay costs totalling £250.
Magistrate Alan Webb told Burfield: “I would hope that you go away from this court a little more sober and thoughtful and that you have stopped growing cannabis.”
Donna Newton-Smith, prosecuting, said: “Allegations surfaced that Mr Burfield was cultivating cannabis at his home address. That information was received initially from an anonymous informant.
“However, it was then discovered on YouTube that Mr Burfield had taken videos over six months. Mr Burfield had used his own name as the user name and his own date of birth on his YouTube account.”
The court heard that when police raided Burfield’s flat on 18 February they found a cannabis plant with an estimated value of £500. They also uncovered specialist equipment.
He claimed he began growing and filming the plant in November and was due to begin harvesting it three weeks after the police raid. He said it was intended for personal use and not for sale.