It should have been a routine drop-in at a suburban Oxford house.
But when Merton’s Oscar Hayward called to deliver off a stray letter, the part-time Special Constable got more than he bargained for – a giant, secret “cannabis factory”.
“It used to be a living room, but they had filled it with over sixty cannabis plants of different maturity, some of which were over two feet high,” Hayward said.
The bizarre turn of events began when Hayward and his colleague Sergeant Robert Axe were on a routine patrol.
“We were out on patrol, and someone on a bike flagged us down and told us about a pile of abandoned letters in the road. So, we decided to deliver them,” Hayward recounted.
“But when we approached the property we were quite literally knocked down by the smell of cannabis.”
When the house owners opened the door to find two police officers at the threshold, they seized the letters and slammed the half-open door shut.
“The suspects fled the scene shortly after,” Hayward explained.
After giving chase in vain the officers entered the property under Section 17 and discovered the stash of cannabis immediately.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hayward added, “I was in shock.”
Oxford students have expressed admiration for Hayward, with some undergraduates praising him as a “gentleman and a scholar.”
One 2nd year student said he was “delighted” that Oxford undergraduates were “getting more involved in the local community,” while another speculated that “men like Oscar Hayward would make sterling marriage material.”
However some were less impressed by Hayward’s drug bust, with a 2nd year Wadhamite saying: “Oh, shit the bed, this will make casual law-breaking considerably more difficult. What a bloody party pooper.”
PHOTO/ Laura Simmons