‘Tomato plants miraculously converted themselves into cannabis plants’

Daniel Johnson of Cahersiveen given eight-month sentence, suspended for two years

Daniel Johnson pleaded guilty at the February sitting of Cahersiveen District Court to two counts – of unlawfully cultivating cannabis and unlawfully possessing cannabis on September 18th, 2013.

Daniel Johnson pleaded guilty at the February sitting of Cahersiveen District Court to two counts – of unlawfully cultivating cannabis and unlawfully possessing cannabis on September 18th, 2013.

 

A man whose tomato plants “miraculously converted themselves” into cannabis plants has been given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, on condition he grows no more illegal drugs.

Father of five Daniel Johnson (34), of Garryglass, Cahersiveen, pleaded guilty at the February sitting of Cahersiveen District Court to two counts – of unlawfully cultivating cannabis and unlawfully possessing cannabis on September 18th, 2013.

Mr Johnson claimed that when he moved into a rented property in south Kerry there was a polytunnel some fields away from the house with a tomato plant growing in it. He got compost and potted up seedlings from the tomato plant and began watering the “seedlings”.

However, no tomato was ever produced and a strange smell began to emanate from the tunnel as the plant grew and began sprouting leaves that were not quite the same as tomato leaves.

The “tomato plants” that were growing in the polytunnel in one of four fields on the property turned out to be 19 cannabis plants.

Mr Johnson never stopped tending to them, Judge James O’Connor noted .

Gardaí­ found the cannabis plants at various stages of growth. The plants were sent for analysis and turned out to be of the genus cannabis for which a licence is needed.

The DPP had directed the matter be dealt with on a plea at District Court level.

Mr Johnson accepted what gardaí­ found on his rented property were cannabis plants.

Mr Johnson who has no previous convictions and was not involved in drug dealing, accepted they were cannabis plants and he agreed to be taken into custody for a period of two weeks .

When the matter came up for finalisation at Tralee District Court where Mr Johnson appeared in custody , Judge O’Connor summarised the case as: “This is the matter where the tomato plants miraculously converted themselves into cannabis plants.”

Solicitor for Mr Johnson, Padraig O’Connell replied: “With the aid of holy water.”