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Man accused of growing €450k drugs in his garden

A SELF-employed metalworker accused of growing cannabis herb in his back garden has been sent forward for trial.

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 possessing two stun guns.

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


He is also charged with cultivating cannabis plants without a licence and to 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 without a firearm licence at his home on June 6, 2010.

The State solicitor said the book of evidence was ready and had been served on Fowler, who goes forward to the present sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Patrick McMahon gave Fowler the alibi caution, telling him he had 14 days to provide to the State details of anyone he proposed to call in his defence.

Defence solicitor Martin Coen renewed an application for legal aid, which was previously refused after gardai said they believed Fowler had the assets to pay for his own defence.

A court previously heard the accused had a holiday home in Turkey in addition to the family home at Blakestown. He has also built a granny flat at the side of his house for his son.


Defence solicitor Martin Coen said Fowler had a successful ironworks business and once employed five people, but he had been badly hit by the recession and was now struggling to pay himself and his son a wage.

Judge McMahon said any decision on granting legal aid to Fowler should be left to the Circuit Court judge.