A north Belfast man who admitted growing cannabis to supplement his income and help his back pain has been spared jail.

Martin Anthony Kealey was handed a three-year-sentence, suspended for three years, after pleading guilty to cultivating cannabis at his Linden Gardens home, which was searched by police on August 23, 2018.

The father-of-two also admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply and unlawfully using electricity to grow it.

The 34-year-old further pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted possession of benzocaine “capable of encouraging or assisting the commission” of drugs offences on dates between April 2017 and July 2018.

Sentencing was previously deferred after Kealey’s mother became seriously ill. Updating Belfast Crown Court on her condition, defence counsel Brian McCartney QC said she had undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy for a lung tumour.

More at.  https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/belfast-cannabis-grower-avoids-jail-after-court-told-of-terminally-ill-mother-39504217.html