Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine cannabis grower hoped drug would aid his ‘crazy head’

A man who described himself as having a
A man who described himself as having a "crazy head" claimed he grew cannabis plants, estimated by police to be worth £31,000, for his own use as his mental health had deteriorated, a court heard

By Staff Reporter

A man who described himself as having a "crazy head" claimed he grew cannabis plants, estimated by police to be worth £31,000, for his own use as his mental health had deteriorated, a court heard.

Emil Zdunek (26), of Lower Captain Street, Coleraine, is originally from Poland and claimed he had no support network in the town.

He had converted his then address at New Row in Coleraine into a cannabis factory.

It came to police attention when staff at a nearby business premises smelled cannabis and officers followed their noses to the address. Police discovered 31 mature plants inside a grow tent along with large bin bags full of soil in a rear upstairs bedroom at Zdunek's house in April this year.

At an earlier court sitting the defendant admitted charges of cultivating cannabis and possessing cannabis.

He was back in court for sentencing yesterday.

Coleraine Magistrates Court heard that Zdunek told police he grew the plants after paying £200-£250 online and his intention was to smoke 10gms of cannabis a day.

Defence solicitor Sam Barr explained the defendant described himself at the time of the offences as having a "crazy head".

The lawyer said the defendant had "very little support network" in the area after his mental health deteriorated, but he is now much better.

The solicitor said police examined the defendant's phone and there was no suggestion he was dealing drugs.

The lawyer also disputed the estimated value of the drugs, saying he believed it could be half the amount that was suggested by police.

Mr Barr said there were so many plants because the defendant was more successful in his growing efforts than anticipated.

The solicitor said the defendant now plans to return to his native Poland.

District Judge Peter King said the defendant had a previously clear record in Northern Ireland and had entered guilty pleas.

He sentenced Zdunek to three months in jail, suspended for 18 months.

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