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€450k cannabis farm accused faces trial

A SELF-employed metalworker accused of growing cannabis herb in his back garden is facing trial on the charges.

Stephen Fowler (51) was allegedly caught with €450,000 worth of the drug following a search of his premises at Blakestown. He is also accused of possession of two stun guns.

Fowler is facing trial in the Circuit Court after the matters were deemed too serious for the District Court.

A judge adjourned the case for six weeks for the service of the book of evidence.

Fowler, of Blakestown Cottages, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with possession of cannabis as well as having the drug for sale or supply, and the more serious charge of having drugs worth over €13,000 for sale or supply.

He is also charged with cultivating cannabis plants without a licence and the production of a controlled drug on his land on dates between June 1, 2009 and June 8, 2009.

The alleged street value of the cannabis was €450,000.

Fowler is further charged with possession of two stun guns at his home on June 6, 2010. He was refused legal aid, after gardai said said they believed he has the assets to pay for his own defence.

A court previously heard he has a holiday home in Turkey in addition to the family home at Blakestown. He also built a flat for his son.