A Dorking vegetable grower has barricaded himself in his garden shed after being accused of stealing rhubarb from an adjoining allotment.
Retired maths teacher Cyril Nonce, aged 88, had been reported to the police by his vigilant next door neighbour Doris Drivel.
The old age pensioner, who also plays the church organ, has just recovered from another 'run in' with Mrs Drivel after his pet tortoise nibbled her lettuces.
Doris Drivel has urged other allotment holders to sign a petition demanding Cyril Nonce be made to give up his patch.
But Cyril Nonce has claimed, under interrogation, that he has a 'gentleman's agreement' with another gardener Herbert Dither:
"I give him my artichokes in exchange for his rhubarb."
Herbert Dither, who is a retired QC, has issued a statement to confirm that the arrangement between Cyril Nonce and himself does indeed exist.
PC Colin Phlegm, who was responsible for cordoning off the scene of the crime, has told The Dorking Echo that the case against Cyril Nonce has crumbled:
"We are satisfied that Mr Nonce did have permission to take the rhubarb and no offence has been committed."
Green fingered Nonce, who will soon be back cultivating his artichokes, has written a note to his wife Ethel and passed it under the door of his shed:
"It's none of their business.They are just sticking their noses in."