Man on ‘cannabis factory’ charges doesn’t mind seeing in New Year in prison


A man facing charges linked to the discovery of a cannabis ‘factory’ said he didn’t mind staying in prison on remand which prompted a judge to say on Friday: “My job at this time of the year is to grant all defendants their wishes”.

John Edward Bartlett (34), previously with an address at Belfast Road in Comber but which is now listed as c/o Maghaberry Prison, appeared in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

A police officer said the defendant had revoked his own bail.

District Judge Liam McNally said: “I’m told you handed yourself in because you could no longer stay at the address you were residing”.

The judge said he could grant bail on the same conditions and that the defendant could reside at another address once it was it was approved by the PSNI.

Bartlett then said he “didn’t mind” staying in custody.

Judge McNally quipped: “My job at this time of the year is to grant all defendants their wishes.”

The judge then told the defendant: “Happy New Year”.

A prosecutor remarked it was the “season of goodwill”.

The defendant faces charges in connection with a ‘cannabis factory’ in Raloo near Larne in 2016.

The charges are producing cannabis; causing criminal damage to a ceiling and floor of a property and dishonestly causing electricity to be diverted.

At the time the cannabis factory was found police said it consisted of over 240 plants.

Bartlett’s case has been adjourned to February at Antrim Crown Court.

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