Driver grew cannabis to tackle 'headaches'

Balbriggan Garda Station

Nicola Donnelly

A MAN caught growing nearly €6,500 worth of cannabis plants claimed it was to relieve his severe headaches.

Dmitijs Sidreus (34) who works as a driver at Dublin Port, was growing eight cannabis plants in a room in his rented house using grow lamps and a complete water filtration system.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said: "Significantly, he is only charged with cultivating the cannabis plants and not with being in unlawful possession of drugs.

"He didn't have a factory for the selling and supplying of the drug. It was for his own use, as he suffers from severe headaches and the cannabis helps provide relief," said Ms D'Arcy.

Judge Conal Gibbons said using cannabis was "an extraordinary way to solve headaches".

"What is wrong with taking paracetamol or Anadin?" said Judge Gibbons, adding that he had a "hunch the defendant was using the drugs for leisure purposes, as most people who take illegal drugs do".

"That a guy his age with a responsible job would engage in such criminality concerns me," said Judge Gibbons. "I don't believe the headaches excuse."

Sergeant Tony Tighe told the court the plants and growing equipment were found in Sidreus's rented house when it was searched under Section 26 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

He said Sidreus - who has two previous public order convictions from 2004 - made full admissions under caution.

Sidreus pleaded guilty at Balbriggan District Court to cultivating €6,400 worth of cannabis plants without a licence at his home on September 17 last year.

Judge Gibbons ordered a probation report to "deal with all possibilities" in sentencing Sidreus and ordered urine analysis.

He remanded Sidreus - of Whispering Pines, Whytestown, Naul, Co Dublin - on continuing bail to re-appear before the court on October 22.