Man grew drugs in Portadown greenhouse, court hears


A 58-year-old man who used to smoke three cannabis joints a night to help him sleep grew the drug in greenhouses at his Portadown home.

The value of the cannabis found in the house was over £9,000, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Philip Rhodes, Ulsterville Grove, Portadown, had, at an earlier court, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis plants and possession of cannabis on September 15 last year. The case had been adjourned so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

The court heard that police were in the Ulsterville Grove area about another matter when they noticed cannabis plants growing in the rear of a garden.

The defendant refused to open the door to police who had to force entry. There were two greenhouses filled with cannabis plants.

Rhodes said, “Hands up. You’ve got me.”

Police found 61 bags of cannabis and three jars containing cannabis. The value of the drug was estimated at £9,720. A solicitor for the defendant said police took the view it was not a case of intent to supply.

He explained that Rhodes had suffered for most of his life with frozen shoulders and about eight years ago he had an operation on both shoulders but was left with a lot of residual pain.

The solicitor said he then suffered with depression, anxiety and insomnia.

He added that three years ago at a funeral the defendant was given a joint and told to smoke it just before he went to bed. He did this and had the best night’s sleep he had in years.

The solicitor said Rhodes began to cultivate his own cannabis. He smoked three joints a night before he went to sleep.

He told the court that the defendant had not gained financially. The cannabis was for his own personal use.

Rhodes was sentenced to a combination order of 100 hours’ community service and 12 months’ probation.