Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland judge issues prison term warning to cannabis growers

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Crown Court judge has warned that those who involve themselves in the cultivation and supply of cannabis should "anticipate receiving a custodial sentence".

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland made the comments while jailing a Belfast man, who was caught growing 26 cannabis plants in a flat in the city centre.

Kevin Barry Lidster, from Conor Rise in Belfast, appeared in court on two charges arising from the search of a flat at Donegall Street in October 2013. He admitted both cultivating herbal cannabis and possessing the drug with intent to supply and was handed a 10-month prison sentence.

Crown prosecutor Rosemary Walsh said that when police raided the flat on October 17, 2013, Lidster was asleep. When the property was searched, officers discovered the bedroom had been converted "in order to cultivate cannabis". Lidster (41) was arrested and made full admissions.

While he initially claimed the cannabis was for his own use, he later admitted selling "a bag or two" to friends.

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