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BURNING DOPE KO'D FIREMAN; Home-grown stash set alight.

Byline: By STUART MacDONALD

A BORN-AGAIN Christian ended up in court yesterday after fumes from his burning dope stash knocked out a fireman.

William Wright smoked home-grown cannabis to ease the pain caused by a fall off a bridge.

But his personal dope factory was uncovered when vandals set fire to his wheelie bin - and the flames spread to his flat.

When firemen rushed to tackle the blaze, one officer fell off his ladder after he was overcome by the pungent aroma.

Bearded Wright, 42, who lives with wife Marie, 37, and their two dogs, appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court yesterday after admitting growing cannabis.

Sheriff Frank Pieri deferred sentence on Wright until next month, after asking for medical reports to see if he is fit to carry out community service.

Wright's 15 cannabis plants and dozens of harvested leaves went up in smoke in the blaze in July this year.

He grew the drug in the bedroom of his flat in Cumnock, Ayrshire.

Wright, who now lives in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, took cannabis to ease his pain following an accident in 1989, when he broke bones in his neck and back after falling from the Queen Margaret Bridge in Glasgow.

Outside court yesterday, he said: "One of the firefighters fell off his ladder and our house was gutted.

"I am willing to carry out community service, so hopefully they can find something for me to do.

"I broke my neck when I fell off the Queen Margaret bridge in Glasgow on a drunken night out and I haven't been able to work since.

"I am off the cannabis now but, to be honest, I wish I was still taking it.

"The side effects of the pain relief medication I have been put on are a bit wacky."

The trial of the man accused of starting the fire, Gareth Brown, 21, of Cumnock, collapsed at Ayr Sheriff Court last month.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire Service said: "We cannot comment on why a firefighter fell off the ladder."

The source added: "He did receive injuries but was released from hospital the same day."

reporters@ mirror. co.uk

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DISABLED: Wright at court
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2005
Words:363
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