first_imgA ‘hair-brained’ cannabis-growing operation found in Kilmacrennan was almost worthless after a bungling grower used only male plants to try to cultivate the drugs. Two men, Robin Kerr, 72, and Thomas McKemey, 41, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court today in connection with the drugs operation.The court was told that Gardai from Letterkenny and Milford backed up by members of the National Drugs Unit raided the premises at Leiter, Kilmacrennan on 10th September 2013. There, they discovered a number of polytunnels and also a converted trailer which was fitted with irrigation and lighting systems to help cultivate cannabis.Inside Gardai found cannabis plants with a street value of €120,000 but because the majority of the plants were male and without buds, they were practically worthless.A value on these plants was not given to court.Detective Garda Alfie McHale gave evidence in the case and told how the ESB had been by-passed in order to grow the cannabis without detection.In the tunnels a total of 145 male plants and five female cannabis plants were found, while other dead cannabis leaves were found strewn around.The female plants were worth €800 each but no value was put on the male plants.Detective Garda McHale said the discovery of other discarded leaves suggested that there had been previously been another crop of cannabis which had been harvested.An ESB spokesman said the damage caused to the ESB meter was €500 but was described as a very dangerous operation.Kerr, a grandfather of 12, who ran a steel business, had no previous convictions.However, McKemey, a motor mechanic, had 10 previous convictions for a number of offences including road traffic, public order and hold a phone while driving.A pipe containing cannabis which belonged to Kerr was found at the premises amidst claims by barrister Damian Crawford that his client took the cannabis for medicinal purposes as he had asthma.However barrister Crawford said his client was innocent of anything to do with the growing of the cannabis and did not even know about the operation but was simply growing tomatoes and strawberries in his polytunnel.Barrister Peter Nolan said his client, Thomas McKemey said his client had explained the incident was “an experiment that went wrong.”He said the attempt to grow cannabis went wrong because he had all male plants in one polytunnel and female plants in the other tunnel.He argued that the street value was not anything near €120,000 as McKemey did not know “the birds and the bees” of cannabis plants.He suggested it was a very amateur operation which had taken root after a book on growing cannabis was left behind by another man.The court was told it was a very open operation with children’s swings nearby.“There was certainly more expertise needed,” said Garda McHale.Kerr was charged with criminal damage and also simple possession of cannabis while McKemey was charged with possession of cannabis for sale and supply and cultivation of cannabis.Judge John Aylmer said “This was a serious effort on behalf of Mr McKemey to cultivate what would have been €120,00 worth of cannabis and to sell it.“The grow house was extremely amateurish and was clear from evidence that he did not know what he was really doing and was consulting books going along. I’m satisfied into was his first adventure into such criminal activity.”Adding that he was satisfied he had learned his lesson, he sentenced him to three years for each sentence to run concurrently but suspended both sentences in their entirety.In the case of Robert Kerr, Judge Aylmer noted that the accused had maintained he was not involved in the cultivation of the cannabis.He added that he was a man in his 70s who had been found in possession of a small amount of cannabis and fined him €50 on this charge and on the charge of criminal damage to an ESB meter, he fined him €2,000.CANNABIS GROWHOUSE WAS A ‘WORTHLESS’ HAIR-BRAINED OPERATION was last modified: December 16th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cannabiscourtdrugsGardaikilmacrennanRobert KerrTHoimas McKemeylast_img read more