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Circus performer who grew cannabis was 'under stress'

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Tony Mahon pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis

Tony Mahon pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis

Tony Mahon pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis

A circus performer caught growing cannabis plants in his home had been "stressed" at the time and did not want to buy the drug on the street, a court has heard.

Tony Mahon (31) had three plants in his house when it was searched by gardai.

Judge Bryan Smyth struck the case out, leaving him without a criminal record, after he made a €350 charity donation.

Mahon, of Kenilworth Road, Rathmines, pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis at his home.

Dublin District Court heard gardai searched the address on September 7, 2018 and found three cannabis plants with a combined value of €800.

The DPP consented to the case being dealt with at district court level and Judge Smyth accepted jurisdiction to deal with it after hearing an outline of the facts.

The accused was employed in the entertainment industry and "wouldn't have a particularly large income", his solicitor Richard Young said.

Respected

Mahon found himself unable to "move out and progress" and was suffering stress and anxiety, which manifested in cannabis consumption.

He did not want to buy the drug on the street and chose to grow it himself.

What was found by gardai was "plant material".

Mr Young submitted character references for his client.

Mahon worked in circuses throughout the country, was of good character and considered hard-working and "greatly trusted and respected in that industry".

"I am asking you to consider giving him a chance, given the way he has dealt with the case," Mr Young said to the judge.

The accused had made full admissions to gardai, was co-operative and had no previous convictions.

Mahon had €350 in court to give to charity.

Judge Smyth told him to pay the money to the Peter McVerry Trust and let the case stand in the day's court list for this to be done.

He then struck the case out, leaving the accused without a conviction, and warned him not to come before the court again in the future.