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Student avoids jail after discovery of cannabis grow house in garage

CourtsBy Sunday World
Gavan Murphy
Gavan Murphy

A horticulture student has avoided a jail term after gardai discovered a cannabis grow house in his garage.

Gavan Murphy (31) of St Aidan's Park, Marino, Dublin pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis plants at St Aidan's Park on August 12, 2015.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that gardai went to Murphy's house after receiving a tip off. During a search of the house they found his garage had been converted into a grow house, Garda Trevor Bolger told Eilis Brennan BL, prosecuting.

The garage was kitted out with grow tents, a heating system and tin foil. The garage contained twelve mature plants, and another 33 medium and small sized plants.

Gardai also found three jars containing cannabis buds and seeds in the bedroom of the house.

Gda Bolger said that the estimated street value of the plants was €44,000, on the basis that all 55 plants would come to fruition and yield buds and seeds.

Murphy told gardai that he was growing the cannabis plants for personal use to avoid buying the drug from a dealer. He said that of the 55 plants, half of them would die in a week.

He said he got all the tents second hand on eBay. Murphy, who was studying horticulture at the time, has no other convictions.

Gda Bolger told Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, that it was very unlikely Murphy would re-offend.

Judge Melanie Greally suspended a sentence of three years on condition that Murphy remain drug free. She noted that he had taken serious steps to address his serious dependency on cannabis and he was now drug free.