Had £5k worth of Cannabis

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When police searched a house in Dromara they found a grow tent containing ten cannabis plants worth £5,000, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Mark McClure (25), Whitehorn Lane, Dromara, admitted unlawful possession of cannabis on February 8 this year and cultivating a cannabis plant on the same date.

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

The court heard that police were asked to do a safety check at a house in Dromara and while in the premises they detected the smell of cannabis.

The defendant was in the sitting room and he handed over a small quantity of cannabis.

A search of the property was carried out and a grow tent was discovered. It contained ten plants estimated to be worth £5,000.

McClure admitted cultivating the plants and confirmed they belonged to him.

He said he grew the plants to smoke for his own personal use.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A barrister representing the defendant said McClure had been quite open and honest with police that it was for his own use.

He added that his client was trying to stay away from offending and had completed probation in the past.

District Judge, Mr Alan White, said McClure had a poor record and the last time he had probation was six years ago. “You are just about worth one more go at it,” he told the defendant.

But the judge warned him the order was an alternative to custody and if he did not complete the probation and the community service he would face immediate custody.

“The court would be left with no alternative,” added the judge.