Dungannon cannabis factory was used to ‘relieve arthritis pain’ caused by road accidents

Generic image of herbal cannabis
Generic image of herbal cannabis

A Moy man who “ate cannabis” as a cure for arthritis, was given a suspended jail sentence, at Omagh Crown Court last week.

Glenn Willis, Derrylee Road, Moy was found with 142 cannabis plants in a mobile home behind his parent’s house in Dungannon, the court heard.

The 45-year-old admitted having a cannabis factory in the mobile home and said when arrested: “It’s mine, I am so sorry for my mother”.

The defendant pleaded guilty to all charges.

Judge Paul Ramsey jailed the defendant for two months for cultivation of cannabis at No 8 Tullyroan Cottages, Dungannon on November 21 2014 and the sentence was suspended for two years.

The defendant was given two one-month concurrent sentences for possession of the drug at his home at Derrylee, Moy, on the same date and these were also suspended for two years.

The judge said this amount of drugs would normally attract an immediate prison sentence.

But, the Prosecution had accepted that the drugs were for the defendant’s consumption only, and this was a significant factor in this case.

The judge said the defendant had eaten the cannabis with food for the pain arising from eight motor-bike and three car crashes.

An earlier sitting heard the defendant had the mobile home sealed off with tape and divided into three sections.

One was a harvesting room with 58 flowering plants, ready for harvesting.

Other plants were hanging from hooks on the ceiling and drying out.

A Prosecutor told the court the operation could be described as that of an “enthusiastic amateur” into how these plants were grown.

When officers raided the defendant’s home in Derrylee Moy, they found a small fridge with 100 grammes of cannabis inside.

The court heard the defendant had relevant drug convictions from 1995 and 2000 for possession of drugs.

The Prosecutor said the custody threshold had been cost and relevant case law would suggest a custody period from 6-12 months.

A Defence Counsel said there was no issue about supply.

His client had “ingested” through food and therefore needed more cannabis to relieve the pain of his injuries from motor- bike and car crashes.

At last Friday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Paul Ramsey said it was “quite clear the defendant was a long standing user of cannabis”

He had previous relevant convictions but they were for simple possession of drugs.

The defendant was assessed as at a medium risk of re-offending and did not pose a risk of serious harm to the public.

Judge Ramsey said that taking into account the defendant’s injuries; community service and probation were limited options.

A psychologist’s report set out the defendant’s addiction to drugs.

The defendant had admitted and taken responsibility for his actions and was very sorry for using a mobile home for his cannabis factory at the back of his parent’s home.

Judge Ramsey said this case would normally attract a custodial sentence.

But, given the defendant’s Aspergers Syndrome, and the Prosecution acceptance that there was no supply involved, the court would deal with the matter by a suspended jail sentence.