A former Bellaghy man who was growing cannabis in an upstairs room, was handed an eight-month suspended jail sentence when he appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.
Norbert Sebastian Drabrowski (37), of Circular Road, Coleraine, admitted cultivating cannabis at an address in Ballyscullion Road on March 27 last.
Drabrowski was also banned from driving for three years for driving while disqualified and having no insurance on the same date.
District Judge Alan White also made a destruction order in relation to the cannabis seized during the police search operation.
A PPS lawyer said police entered the property at Ballyscullion Road at 8.20am with a warrant under the misuse of drugs act.
She said in an upstairs bedroom officers found a tent, valued £4,500, for growing cannabis with a number of plants and two bags containing cannabis with a total value of £1,500.
The lawyer said defendant was not in the house at the time but when he was located nearby he said the drugs were for his own personal use.
She added that it also came to light that defendant was driving while disqualified and without insurance.
A defence lawyer explained it had been a difficult time for Drabrowski as his relationship with the mother of his children had broken down. He said defendant was growing the cannabis for his own use as he suffered back and knee pain. The lawyer explained defendant also dealt in cars, but did not intend to drive the car. She added a recent period in custody had had a “sobering affect.”