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Kilsallagh cannabis grower convicted

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A 59-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the cultivation and possession of cannabis in his remote Westport home.
Stephen Whiteley of Culleen, Kilsallagh, Westport, appeared before last week’s Westport District Court sitting in Castlebar after 18 cannabis plants were found in his home by gardaí.
The court was told that on March 5 last, Detective Jim Cadden and members of the Mayo Divisional Drugs Unit searched the house of Mr Whiteley where they found the cannabis plants in a spare bedroom, as well as 49.59 grams of cannabis herb.
Det Cadden told the court that the plants were in early stages of growth, measuring three inches, and at that stage were valued at €900, but were potentially worth €14,000 when fully grown. The total value of the cannabis herb was €991.82.
After his arrest, Mr Whiteley admitted to gardaí that he had grown the plants from cuttings.
Solicitor Nicola Daly told the court that Mr Whiteley was a married father of two who had moved from the UK ten years ago and who relies on continuous pain medication.
“Mr Whiteley does not fit the usual profile for persons coming to court but does not use that as an excuse,” said Ms Daly.
Judge Devins convicted Mr Whiteley of the cultivation of the plants fining him €500, and she also convicted him of the possession of cannabis herb, fining him €250.