A man (64) who was growing cannabis in his converted attic to make “medicinal soup,” has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Paul Duffin of Caheranne Close, Tralee, Co Kerry, had pleaded guilty to the charge of sale or supply of cannabis as well as cultivation on July 12th 2012 at his home. The court heardon Monday how he had a tragic family history. It was also told how he eschewed conventional medicine and had a previous conviction for cultivation. In 2011 he received a suspended sentence for growing the drug. The Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee was told yesterday that while he pleaded guilty to the charge of sale or supply, he insisted he was not selling the drug but growing it “to make soup and tea” for pain relief. He would also offer the soup to friends who visited his home, his barrister Richard Liston said. When Det Garda Eoin O’ Donovan visited Mr Duffin’s home with a search warrant he found “a grow tent” in the attic with eight mature plants and eight bundles drying. It was a “sophisticated operation” (disputed by defence barrister Mr Liston). “He knew what he was doing. He converted the attic for the purposes of growing cannabis,” Garda O’Donovan said. “He denied cannabis was a drug, he said it was a herb.”