A DUBLIN man started growing cannabis plants in his own home as he was trying to finance his drug habit, a court heard.
Sean Cleary (30) expected the plants to yield approximately €400 worth of cannabis every six months.
He questioned the garda value of the cannabis plants, a potential €12,000, saying he believed this value was excessive.
Judge David McHugh ordered Cleary to complete 200 hours' community service in lieu of four months in prison.
Cleary, of Ballygall Crescent, in Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to cultivating cannabis without a licence.
Garda Sergeant Stephen Nalty said gardai obtained a search warrant and searched Cleary's home shortly after 5pm on September 12 last year.
Fifteen cannabis plants with a potential street value of €12,000 were uncovered.
The court heard that Cleary has two previous convictions, including a previous drugs conviction.
Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said Cleary admitted to having the cannabis plants but he strenuously contested the value placed on them by gardai.
Ms Brennan said that nine plants were found in a small seed tray in the kitchen, while a further two were on a kitchen counter.
The solicitor said two more cannabis plants were in a wardrobe under a light.
Ms Brennan said Cleary was expecting a high fail-rate in growing the plants, and he expected yield about €400 worth of cannabis from the plants every six months.
The court heard that Cleary is single and is unemployed.
He is currently completing a computer engineering course.
Judge McHugh ordered Cleary to complete 200 hours of community service in lieu of four months in prison.