Dead ‘pot’ plants found after fire

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Londonderry Magistrate’s Court has heard how a man was caught with a number of dead cannabis plants after a fire in his street.

Sean Patrick Kelly, of Marlborough Street, pleaded guilty to attempted cannabis cultivation on April 5, last year.

The 49-year-old also admitted assaulting and resisting police.

The Court heard the offences were detected after police attended a fire in Marlborough Street and a cordon was set up by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

Police got the details of those inside the flats at the time of the fire and a number of them were ‘highly intoxicated’.

Officers found a ‘small cannabis operation’ in the ground floor flat. The leaves had been stripped off the plants and there were bulbs and ventilation equipment.

Kelly walked into the flat and became ‘verbally abusive and aggressive’ when police stopped him going any further.

He told the officers ‘this is my f****** flat you can’t keep me out’.

The 49-year-old continued to be ‘extremely aggressive’ and struggled with police.

In relation to the cannabis plants, he said ‘there are no f****** leaves on them you dumb b*******’.

Kelly was arrested and on his way to police custody he threatened an officer, stating he would ‘knock his head off’.

He attempted to head butt a police officer and then head butted a wall.

Police had to restrain Kelly on the ground and he head butted the ground twice.

He told the offices ‘I will f****** blame this on you lot. See how smart you are then’.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client ‘wasn’t having a particularly good day’ when he committed the offences.

The solicitor said the 49-year-old was in ‘considerable pain’ after a visit to the dentist and consumed alcohol on top of the medication he was given.

He added that Kelly’s attempt to grow his own cannabis was ‘useless’ and police arrested him ‘over a number of dead plants’.

District Judge Barney McElholm find Kelly £450 and granted a destruction order for the drugs.