The owner of a farmhouse in Fawwara had warned a police search party to steer clear of a ferocious dog which later turned out to be a docile creature whose kennel was being used to hide heroin, a court was told on Thursday.

The dog's owner, Horace Fenech, 42, who also owns the farmhouse, stands accused of heroin and cannabis possession in circumstances denoting that it was not for his personal use. He is also charged with recidivism. 

During the compilation of evidence on Thursday, police officers explained how the area was kept under close surveillance by members of the Drug Squad after a tip-off about a potential drug deal involving a certain Terence Cini.

Mr Cini was eventually spotted at the wheel of a Peugeot Partner, accompanied by Mr Fenech who was a passenger.

When the vehicle stopped outside the Fawwara farmhouse, the police closed in upon the two men. A personal search of Mr Cini yielded a sachet of suspicious white powder. Cash was found inside the vehicle.

Mr Fenech was also found to be in possession of a sachet of cannabis.

As the police entered the premises, Mr Fenech had nervously warned them not to approach the kennel as the dog was particularly ferocious and dangerous.

Yet when the officers inspected the kennel, the dog turned out to be a docile creature. A closer look at the kennel led to the discovery of a black plastic screw-top bottle stuffed with a kilo of heroin.

Questioned by defence counsel Franco Debono, prosecuting Inspector Frank Anthony Tabone explained that the rectangular 4x3 metre-long kennel was easily accessible and the gate which led to it was not padlocked.

Magistrate Doreen Clarke is presiding over the compilation.

Inspectors Frank A Tabone and Joseph Xerri are prosecuting.

Lawyer Amadeus Cachia is also defence counsel.