Grandfather in drugs find avoids prison
A Belfast grandfather who was caught red-handed growing cannabis plants was given a suspended prison sentence yesterday.
Belfast Crown Court heard that police called to Ernest Irwin's (48) Forthriver Road home on February 26 after he attended hospital for a head injury but left without getting treatment.
Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins said that after concerns were raised for Irwin's welfare, police called to his home and forced entry. Once inside, officers noticed a strong smell of cannabis and, when they checked a bedroom, they found 19 semi-mature cannabis plants and other drugs-related items.
Passing sentence, Judge Geoffrey Miller QC said the Belfast man was "in essence caught red-handed."
Handing Irwin a 12-month sentence, which was suspended for two years, Judge Miller also ordered that the drugs and associated paraphernalia be destroyed.