Man jailed over £4,000 cannabis haul


A Belfast man who set up a cannabis-growing factory in his own home has been jailed for three months.

Thomas John Nugent had eight plants worth £4,000 and other cultivation equipment in a bedroom at his Balkan Street address.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told a mobile phone seized in the raid contained texts indicating he was supplying drugs to associates.

Nugent, 33, was convicted of possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply, along with cultivating and supplying cannabis.

Police carried out a search of his home on January 6 this year.

A prosecution lawyer said officers discovered a small cannabis factory with eight plants under lights, each valued at £500.

Nugent initially accepted growing the drugs but denied supplying them.

His solicitor stressed a lack of any previous record, adding: “He would be a man of limited intelligence.”

But District Judge Fiona Bagnall rejected a suggestion to suspend any prison term.

She said: “In my opinion he’s a small-scale retail supplier to customers. It’s clearly commercial.

“He therefore, as far as I’m concerned, passes the custody threshold. It’s a fairly significant amount, talking about plants worth £4,000.”

Jailing Nugent for a total of three months, Mrs Bagnall granted him bail for an appeal.