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Cannabis factory charge mother breaks down weeping in court

By George Jackson

Published 24/06/2015

Accused: Julie Wilson at court yesterday
Accused: Julie Wilson at court yesterday
The cannabis plants found at Larch Road in Dungiven

A mother-of-three broke down in tears in court as she was charged with offences which were linked to the discovery of a cannabis factory containing almost 350 plants in a house in Dungiven.

Julie Ruth Wilson, from Larch Road in Dungiven, was charged at Londonderry Crown Court with cultivating 347 cannabis plants - valued by the police at around £250,000.

The 38-year-old faces further charges of possessing and possessing with intent to supply cannabis, with being concerned in supplying cannabis, with dishonestly using electricity falsely and with claiming housing benefits.

Wilson, whose children are aged five, eight and 11, is alleged to have committed the offences in Larch Road on June 20. She is also charged with being concerned in offering to supply the drug 'speed' last May 29.

A police officer told the court that he believed he could connect the defendant to all seven charges.

He said that he was objecting to bail because the defendant had a total of 22 previous convictions several of which were for cultivating cannabis. The officer said other people were still at large and were being sought by the police in relation to the discovery of the cannabis plants.

He said that the main witness in the case was the defendant's landlord and he believed the defendant would attempt to interfere with prosecution witnesses if she was released on bail.

Applying for bail, the defence solicitor said that a bail address was available for the defendant with her current partner, who was a member of the Prison Service.

However, Deputy District Judge Joe Rice said that the application fell on the wrong side for bail.

He said that there was a danger of the defendant interfering with the course of an ongoing police investigation and he remanded her in custody until July 16.

Belfast Telegraph

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