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Drug police raid home of pensioner couple… after ‘mistaking their moss garden for a cannabis factory’

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bungling police raided the home of an elderly couple after they mistook the smell of a common garden plant for cannabis.

Ivor and Margaret Wiltshire bought ‘moss phlox’ four years ago for £2 and spread it through their front and back garden.

But the plant – which grows vivid pink flowers in the spring and looks nothing like cannabis – gives off a pungent aroma similar to the drug.



The smell was so strong the couple’s next-door neighbours were even threatened by a local drug gang who broke into their home and demanded: ‘Give us the weed man’.

Weeks later Ivor, 77, and Margaret, 79, returned home to find the drugs squad had battered down their front door and searched their property.

No drugs were found and a police woman later told them the moss phlox was responsible for the raid after a sample was taken for analysis.

The couple have since received an apology from Avon and Somerset police, but have lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).