A man’s claim that he grew six cannabis plants in a makeshift greenhouse at his home “out of curiosity” has been slammed as nonsense by a judge.
Robert Pozniak (35), of Loguestown Green in Coleraine, had six plants worth an estimated £3,000.
They were found on August 10 this year and at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday the defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivating cannabis. A prosecutor said the plants were growing in a “makeshift greenhouse” at the rear of the defendant’s property.
The lawyer said that during a police interview the defendant said he had built the greenhouse to grow plants and vegetables and he had planted cannabis seeds “just to see how they grew”. Pozniak had told police he didn’t use cannabis himself and “didn’t know what he would do with” the plants.
A defence lawyer said the defendant had no history of drugs but accepted the explanation was “rather bizarre”. The lawyer said no other cannabis was found at the house.
He said his client has been in the UK for over ten years, owned his home and had worked but is currently unemployed.
District Judge Peter King said: “The thought that someone is cultivating £3,000 worth of cannabis just to satisfy their curiosity is a nonsense, I do not believe a word”.
The defence lawyer said he conceded his client’s explanation was “not a good one”. The lawyer said the plants were discovered when police went to speak to the defendant about another matter.
Judge King said the defendant was “completely guileless” and had made no attempt to conceal the plants.
The judge told Pozniak: “It is quite clear this was part of a criminal exercise either for your own benefit or for the benefit of others”.
Imposing a three months jail term, suspended for two years, and fining the defendant £400, Judge King warned him if he committed a similar offence again prison was the likely destination.