A woman growing cannabis plants in a house who also had two shotgun cartridges claimed she found the ammo at Benone Beach on the north coast and took it home as “memorabilia”.
Charlene Ann Farrelly (36), with an address at Drumcairn Avenue in Dublin, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court for sentencing on charges of cultivating cannabis, possessing the drug, possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate and possession of a prohibited weapon – pepper spray.
A prosecutor said the charges were of “some vintage” as they related to a discovery at Stuart Park in Ballymoney in October 2013.
She said the property was searched and cannabis was found downstairs while upstairs there were around six cannabis plants. Two shotgun cartridges and pepper spray were also found.
The court heard the property had been rented out but was “sub-let” to the defendant.
When interviewed, Farrelly told police she found the shotgun cartridges at Benone Beach and brought them back home with her as she thought they may have been “memorabilia”.
The defendant told police a relative brought the pepper spray home from Europe and she had it for her own protection.
She said she was growing the plants because she was a “heavy user” of cannabis.
A defence lawyer said Farrelly’s life has changed significantly and she had not used cannabis for several years and is now a carer for relatives, fosters animals and is starting animal welfare courses.
After considering a pre-sentence report, District Judge Mark McGarrity gave the defendant a three months jail term, suspended for two years.