Cannabis found in back garden

After smoking a cannabis joint which “gave him his best night’s sleep in years” a 57-year-old man decided to grow his own, Craigavon Court heard last Friday.

But Philip Rhodes, Ulsterville Grove, Portadown, attracted police attention when they noticed it growing in his back garden.

Rhodes admitted cultivating cannabis plants on September 15, 2012, and possession of cannabis on the same date.

The court heard that police went to the rear of houses at Ulsterville Grove concerning another matter and noticed the cannabis plants growing in the defendant’s back garden.

He refused to open his door for police and they had to force entry. They found two greenhouses filled with cannabis plants.

Rhodes told them, “Hands up, you’ve got me.”

Police also found a number of plastic bags containing cannabis, some in glass jars and cannabis seeds. There were five fully grown cannabis plants.

The defendant denied any intent to supply the drugs.

A solicitor for Rhodes said the cannabis was for his own personal use.

He explained that the defendant had suffered with frozen shoulders and after an operation to fix the problem he had other problems which made him an insomniac.

The solicitor added that two years ago he was discussing the problems with a friend and he gave Rhodes a cannabis joint to try.

“He smoked it and had his best night’s sleep in years and that led to him growing his own cannabis,” he said.

He explained that the cannabis was for the consumption of the defendant who took three joints a night before he went to sleep.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was an unusual case but he was concerned at the amount used for self-medication.

Because of that he adjourned the case until February 28 so that a pre-sentence report could be prepared.