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Man caught growing cannabis during lockdown thought he had 'reinvented the wheel'

Brian McDermott (30) grew the plants himself to avoid having to deal with people during the pandemic

Brian McDermott had two cannabis plants in his bedroom

Andrew Phelan

A cannabis user who turned to growing his own plants to beat lockdown thought he had "reinvented the wheel," a court heard.

Brian McDermott (30) was caught with two cannabis plants in his bedroom when gardaí raided his home.

Blanchardstown District Court heard it was a small operation that he undertook to avoid having to deal with people to get the drug during the pandemic.

A judge told him he can avoid a criminal record if he donates €1,000 to charity.

Mr McDermott, a mechanical welder, admitted charges of cannabis cultivation and possession with intent to supply at Floraville Drive, Clondalkin.

Blanchardstown District Court heard two plants worth a combined €1,600 and various drug paraphernalia were found in Mr McDermott's studio apartment when gardaí searched it on July 31, 2020.

Garda Sergeant Walter Sweeney told Judge David McHugh the accused made admissions when he was detained.

Mr McDermott told gardaí the cannabis was for his own personal use but he would give it to his friends now and again for free.

Defence Simon Fleming said Mr McDermott had been smoking the drug, had it for himself and in relation to the paraphernalia, all drug users would use weighing scales to see how much they had.

The offence was committed during Covid lockdown.

"He thought he had reinvented the wheel in that he didn't have to deal with people, he could do it himself," Mr Fleming said.

It was a very small operation in the accused's bedroom and Mr Fleming asked the judge to leave Mr McDermott without convictions as he wanted to travel for work.

The judge adjourned the case and said he would strike the charges out if the accused made a donation to the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Fund.

He said he also wanted drug testing results.

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