Cannabis user 'grew drugs for pain relief'
A man jailed for growing cannabis said he used the drug to help him deal with chronic back pain, a court has heard.
Colin Bell, from Sealstown Road in Newtownabbey, admitted cultivating cannabis and possessing it with intent to supply.
The 54-year-old will serve three months of a 15-month sentence behind bars.
Crown prosecutor David McAughey told the court police searched Bell's home on June 5 last year. They found 16 cannabis plants in a grow tent, along with around 100 buds in a bag.
The court heard that when Bell's partner was asked about the drugs, she said he grew the drugs to help him deal with pain and she couldn't stop him growing them.
Bell, who has 72 previous convictions including drugs offences, told police a similar tale.
Mr McAughey said it was accepted that Bell used the cannabis for pain relief and that he gave some to family members.
Bell's lawyer told Belfast Crown Court: "He was growing this because he didn't want to pay people money who are producing it as a criminal enterprise."