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Police Provoke Tomato Terror ::

Reported by Ben Stroud on December 1, 2008

Scottish police stormed into a 79 year old lady’s cottage and arrested both her dogs this week, after mistaking tomato plants on her window sill for cannabis plants.

Lulu Matheson described having a ‘terrible fright’ when officers barged into her Highland’s home and seized her 47 year old son Gus, holding the pair for two hours while sniffer dogs were sent over from headquarters.

"I started laughing because I knew they were tomato plants,” Mr Matheson told the Mail, recounting his initial reaction, “But it wasn't so funny when they frisked me and then started tearing the house apart."

"They even 'arrested' Zac, our black labrador, and Moby, our Jack Russell,” he added.

The pair were later released without charge or a police apology after tests confirmed the tomatoes’ authenticity, though Mrs Matheson said she remained unsettled by the experience.

“I don't know what the neighbours must be thinking,” she added.

Local newspaper The Highland News answered her thoughts, revealing that local villagers have taken to calling her son ‘Mr Big’.

"My 26-year-old nephew Stephen, who hardly even smokes a cigarette never mind cannabis, lives with his girlfriend in a caravan next door and they went over and searched there too, after handcuffing him,” Mr Matheson told the paper, “It was a terrible carry-on”

The heavy-handed raid reflected the experiences of English grandmother Patricia Tabram, 68, who in 2007 was caught with pot plants at her Newcastle home,

Mrs Tabram was sentenced to 250 hours community service after being found guilty though vowed to continue growing weed, despite being threatened with imprisonment

"The police can come to my house every week. I'll give them a cup of tea,” the plucky pensioner promised in an interview with the BBC, “I'll give them a decent biscuit, which of course will be medicated and I'll give them some cannabis so they charge me again and again and again.”

Jonty Skrufff (