A CHRONIC back pain sufferer who grew cannabis in a lit, ventilated tent in his bedroom to medicate himself told gardai he did not know it was illegal, a court heard.
Gardai who raided Eamonn Owens' house found four plants worth €1,600 being grown under lamps with a fan trained on them, and harvested leaves stored in the wardrobe, along with fertiliser and books on how to cultivate the drug.
Dublin District Court heard gardai had to break in the bedroom door because he was out at the time of the search, and kept it locked to keep what he was doing from his teenage nephew.
Owens (28) was given a three-month suspended sentence when he pleaded guilty to drugs charges at Dublin District Court.
The accused, with an address at Cooley Road, Drimnagh, admitted possession and cultivation of cannabis at his home on July 8, 2011.
The court heard gardai obtained a warrant and executed it at the defendant's home at 8.35pm on the evening in question.
Owens was not at home when they arrived and his father was the only person present.
He showed them to Owens' bedroom, which was locked and to which he did not have a key.
Gardai forced the door open and found a large tent with four cannabis plants inside.
A fan and lights were pointed at the plants. In the wardrobe were three hangers with cannabis herb on them, as well as fertiliser and books on how to grow cannabis.
A half hour later, the accused arrived home and admitted it was his room. He was arrested and taken to Crumlin Garda Station, where he admitted growing the drug "for his own personal medicinal purpose".
He told gardai he "didn't realise it was illegal to grow cannabis in this country".
A file was sent to the DPP and he was later charged.
The drugs found were sent to the Garda Forensic Science Laboratory and had an approximate street value of €1,600.
Judge Catherine Murphy suspended the sentence for a year.