Police officers disturbed five men with machetes who were attacking a house to steal a £75,000 cannabis farm, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

The thieves fled the scene leaving behind their getaway car, a Ford Fiesta full plants raided from the address in Barmouth Terrace, Bradford.

Eyon Kola, the Albanian national tending the cannabis farm, was arrested after the police caught him hiding in bushes, prosecutor Jo Shepherd said.

Kola, 23, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to production of cannabis on February 14.

He was jailed for 18 months by Judge Jonathan Rose who said he chose to involve himself in the illegal enterprise and now must take the consequences.

The court heard that the police went to the house after reports that it was being burgled.

Five males armed with machetes had broken down the door to plunder the plants and stash them in the car.

Kola ran out of the property and fled on foot pursued by the police after an officer shouted: “Get him.”

He ran through bramble bushes and was apprehended on King’s Road, Miss Shepherd said.

Kola was scratched and cut after his efforts to outrun the police.

The house had been turned into a substantial cannabis farm with a total of 115 plants of various sizes.

Some plants were cut and stacked up ready to steal and others were piled up in the back of the Fiesta.

Miss Shepherd said the farm had a potential yield of 6.325 kilos of cannabis worth between £37,950 and £75,900.

Kola told the police he was staying in Watford but had no fixed address in this country.

His barrister Shufqat Khan said his client came to the United Kingdom in a lorry almost 18 months ago.

He wanted to improve his life and send money back to his impoverished family in Albania.

Mr Khan said Kola worked hard at a car wash but the employment was ended by the Covid lockdown. He had no other source of income and was paid to tend the cannabis plants.

When he found out the enterprise was illegal, he wanted to leave but he was pressured and threatened, Mr Khan said.

Kola had no previous convictions and had been held in prison on remand for a month.

Judge Rose said he had put himself in danger from “wicked men armed with machetes coming to steal the cannabis from you.”