Man caught growing cannabis in caravan

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A Co Tyrone man has been handed 240 hours community service after he was caught growing cannabis in a caravan “as an experiment”.

Ryan Daniel Charles Ruddy was told by a judge that he was now at a “crossroads” in his life - either change his drug dealing behaviour or go to prison.

The 24-year-old, of Carnenny Lane, Pomeroy, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis, possession of Class B and C drugs, and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Prosecution barrister Michael McAleer told Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, that on July 4, 2015, police carried out a search of a caravan at Carnenny Lane and found “two mature cannabis plants’’ and seven sideling plants with a street value of £9,000.

A bag containing 0.68 grammes of white powder was also located and it was found to be the Class C drug Methylethylcathione (MCE).

Ruddy claimed to police that he had grown the cannabis as an “experiment” for his own use, adding: “I didn’t think it would work.”

The court was told that his mobile phone contained five messages relating to his “drug dealing activities”.

A defence barrister said that Ruddy had been caught “red handed’’. A report by a forensic psychiatrist said Ruddy suffered from a “drug-induced psychosis’’.