A CANNABIS cultivator shot by police was told his grow risked starting a fire at his ex-partner's tanning salon which could have destroyed the premises.

Aaron Humphries was spared an immediate jail sentence after he armed himself with an imitation submachine gun, caused criminal damage to his partner's address and set up a cannabis grow in her tanning salon without her knowledge during lockdown.

The judge who sentenced him on Friday also praised the member of the public who first reported the 31-year-old to police after spotting the imitation firearm on the defendant's lap as he sat in his BMW in Ronkswood Hill where he was ultimately surrounded by armed officers.

We have previously reported how Humphries (also sometimes spelt Humphreys), appeared over videolink from HMP Hewell following the dramatic incident when he was shot in the leg by an armed officer at around 9am on October 2 last year.

Humphries was sentenced to 20 months in prison suspended for two years and placed under the supervision of the probation service. He must complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and was also ordered to pay £1,400 in compensation to Platform Housing for the damage.

Video footage of him falling to the ground after he was shot has already been widely circulated on social media.

The father-of-two, who has worked as a civil engineer, had already admitted possession of an imitation firearm at a time he was committing another offence (criminal damage at his ex-partner's home in Dines Green) on Saturday, October 2 last year. The imitation, air-powered weapon, seized from the passenger side footwell of his car, was later identified by an expert as a close facsimile of a Heckler and Koch MP5K, a form of submachine gun.

Humphries of Wetherfield Road, Birmingham further admitted criminal damage - destroying property without lawful excuse - on the same date, including windows, a door and a Ring Doorbell belonging to Platform Housing. He did this using a homemade dumbbell after first kicking the Ring Doorbell, footage of which was played in court.

Judge Martin Jackson, who sentenced Humphries spoke of the risks associated with bypassing the electric meter, as Humphries did, during the illegal grow when 33 plants were found at the property - the Tanning Lounge in Gresham Road, Dines Green. A police warrant was executed there on April 27 last year.

Judge Jackson said: "That inevitably creates risk to other people because there is always the possibility that homemade electric meter bypasses go wrong and fires can start and therefore premises can be destroyed."

However, the judge also observed that Humphries 'contacted the police the same day the warrant was executed and, two days later, attended the police station voluntarily to be interviewed and made full admissions and took responsibility for it'.

He also said there was no evidence from a mobile phone or anything similar to indicate 'commercial distribution' of the cannabis. He also rejected the Crown's argument that the court should treat Humphries as 'akin to being on bail' at the time he was found with the submachine gun. Judge Jackson said there would need to be evidence Humphries had received an earlier summons.

"One of the consequences of a proceedings beings started by summons is that there's not an insignificant number of people who should come to court but don't because they haven't received the summons," said the judge.

Judge Jackson explained that it was an hour and a half later in Ronkswood Hill when a member of the public saw the defendant inside his car with the imitation firearm, believing at first the defendant was part of a police undercover operation.

However, it was ultimately reported by the same member of public.

"That member of the public did a valuable service by reporting this to police so police were able to arrest you and remove that imitation firearm from being in public," the judge said.