Cookstown man grew cannabis plants to help with knee pain


Thirty-five-year-old Ashley Dallas from Stewart method in the town, was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Wednesday (April 13).

Dallas admitted charges of possessing cannabis and cultivating the drug at his home address on May 8 last year.

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District estimate Michael Ranaghan also made an order for the destruction of the cannabis plants.

Dungannon Courthouse

Prosecuting counsel told the court that police went to the defendant’s home address to speak to him in relation to another matter and a stand-off lasting a few hours took place before they managed to gain entry to the character.

The lawyer said in a search they found a growing room containing 10 plants, heating equipment and other paraphernalia, and Dallas was arrested for cultivating cannabis.

When the police asked him what the plants were for, he replied that they should ask Gordon Ramsay about them.

Counsel said the defendant did not make any response during a later interview.

estimate Ranaghan remarked that Dallas had certainly come up with an original comment.

Defence lawyer Craig Patton said the smart alec remark has not got him far.

Mr Patton said the defendant had 90 grams of cannabis with an estimated value of £500.

He said the defendant has an injury to his knee and the pain had gone up to his back.

The lawyer said he had been taking various painkillers and decided to self-medicate using cannabis and found it helped him sleep during the night.

Mr Patton stressed the defendant was now receiving treatment from his GP and was not self-medicating any longer.

He said the defendant suffered from mental health issues and had struggled during lockdown.

“He is not taking drugs or alcohol but receiving medication for his problem from his GP,” he additional.

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