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Cannabis ‘was to ease arthritis’

A man accused of growing nearly £30,000 worth of cannabis in his home acted only to feed his addiction and ease arthritis pains, the High Court has heard.

Police seized 54 plants, along with lights and heaters, from a suspected production factory at Joao Sousa Rito's house in Obins Drive, Portadown, Co Armagh, prosecutors said.

The 53-year-old migrant worker faces charges of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, cultivating the drugs and being concerned in its supply.

Crown counsel Nicola Auret said the plants were being grown in a single bedroom at the property, with Rito apparently sleeping on a sofa.

She said the approximate value of the seizure was estimated to be £27,000.

The court was told Rito, a Portuguese national, admitted smoking joints every day and to cultivating a new crop every four months for himself.

Belfast Telegraph