AN INNOCENT man has been left with a £1,217 bill for a new front door because police spotted air conditioning units and thought he was growing cannabis.
Steve Ogilvie was at work when police smashed their way into his Sutton Coldfield home because they thought he was cultivating the drug.
The dad-of-two, who lives in Chester Road North, has since been told that he will have to replace the upvc door at his own cost and said he was told that even if he makes a claim it will be “highly unlikely” that police will pay out.
The 41-year-old, who is a technical manager at an alarm company, came back to find the door boarded up.
Police had visited the house early on Wednesday morning after receiving intelligence. They spotted the air conditioning during that visit and returned at around 11am with a warrant.
Mr Ogilvie said: “I couldn’t believe it. I came home from work to find my door boarded up and a note on the door mat saying I could speak to police in Sutton Coldfield.
“They said air conditioning was a sign of cannabis cultivation. I installed them myself when I moved in because I hate the heat. They are from B&Q.
“My insurance company say they will not pay out for the door because it was a deliberate act. When I asked the police they said I had to pay and then I could make a claim, but the officer said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that they would pay.
“I don’t understand how coming around to talk to me escalated into them smashing down my front door.
“I have no problem with what they did, but I don’t see why it has become my problem. I have to find the money for something they did. If I had a long criminal record for drug offences I could understand it.”
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police confirmed nothing was found, he was not arrested and no charges will be brought against Mr Ogilvie.
She said: “Officers attended an address in Chester Road North following information received by police relating to suspicious activity at the premises.
“A warrant was executed, during which a door was damaged at the address.
“The householder has been advised that should he see fit, he can make a claim against West Midlands Police for damage to the door, which will be given due consideration.”
By Nick McCarthy