A man from Catlederg, who by-passed his electricity metre so he could generate enough heat for growing cannabis seed and plants, was termed fraudulent by the District Judge. A native of Garag Hill, Joseph Martin Mennion, aged 29 was growing 5 varieties of Cannabis plant at his house. The Strabane Magistrate Court charged levied a penalty of $342.80 for the misuse of electricity and stealing it, and was suspended for a period of two years because of possessing Class B drug and was also given a jail sentence of 4 months. He has pain 45.2 pounds of the total of 380 pounds.
On the October 11, 2013, the NIE enforcement officers and the police went to his house. They found that Joseph’s metre was by-passed illegally. The police then noticed that the upstarts of the rear windows were covered entirely and bordered with aluminium grills, that’s when they figured out that cannabis plants were being cultivated at his home. They also found equipment for cultivation along with 5 mature plants.
Mannion then admitted and confessed to the police that the cannabis he was cultivating was meant for his personal use. He refuted when asked if the drugs he was growing was distributed to other people and owned up to using electricity dishonestly by stopping it by running out when he tampered with the metre. The police informed the court that each of the cannabis plant was priced at 500 pounds each. Oliver Roche, Mannion’s solicitor stated that his client would want to express about his “drug problem” and showed that he had only one conviction filed against his before that was connected to drugs.
But then, Nigel Broderick, the District Judge replied that the report of prior-sentence showed that the defendant’s “on going use of drugs may be problematic” and “lacked motivation”. The judge then advised Mannion while putting into effect the jail term that was previously suspended, “These are serious matters, growing plants and by-passing the electricity system no doubt to generate heat to grow plants. If you need assistance with your drug habit I suggest you contact your GP and seek help on the NHS to go on a drug rehabilitation course.”