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'unique' case Dad caught with cannabis plants in his bedroom, court told


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Mark Anderson of Ardmeen Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, charged with cultivation of cannabis

Mark Anderson of Ardmeen Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, charged with cultivation of cannabis

Mark Anderson of Ardmeen Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, charged with cultivation of cannabis

A FATHER-of-three was caught growing cannabis plants in his bedroom in a "unique" case where he had never before been given "so much as a penalty point".

Mark Anderson (39) had "zero previous convictions" and his cannabis habit had never affected his ability to do his job, a court was told.

Blanchardstown District Court heard gardaí found two plants and loose cannabis worth a combined €1,728 in a search at Anderson's Dublin home.

Judge David McHugh ordered a restorative justice report and adjourned the case.

The accused, with an address at Ardmeen Park, Blackrock, Dublin, pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis at his former home at Brownsbarn Wood, Kingswood, Naas Road, Dublin on February 25, 2020.

Garda Ciaran O'Neill said the two cannabis plants were located in an upstairs room when the search was carried out, along with a quantity of loose cannabis.

Gda O'Neill said the accused had not come to garda attention before or since the incident and had "zero previous convictions."

Sandra Frayne BL, defending, described the circumstances in which the drugs were found as "quite unique".

"In fairness to Mr Anderson, he's never so much as picked up a penalty point in his life," she told the judge.

The court heard the accused had a cannabis habit since he was 16 but this "never affected him in his ability to do his job properly".

While he did not excel in school, he had done very well in his industry afterwards, Ms Frayne said.

Anderson had had to sell his previous home and was now looking after his three children on his own "in very difficult circumstances".

The accused had not touched cannabis since and would never abuse it again, Ms Frayne said.

She said Anderson's life had changed completely as a result of other circumstances beyond his control.

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