A 27-year-old man with a chronic pain condition plead guilty to a multitude of drug charges at Fermanagh Magistrates Court this week.

Aiden McGrath, with an address of Tullychurry Road Enniskillen, was convicted of three counts of possession and one of cultivation of cannabis plants.

The court heard how on February 3 2018 police observed a red transit van parked on the Lochshore road. Upon investigation of the vehicle police found it opened with the key in the ignition and a strong smell of cannabis in the cab, where they also found a quantity of cannabis.

The defendant arrived at the scene in a silver Audi and admitted to owning the van. Police then searched the car the defendant had arrived in and found class A tablets. A further search took place of McGrath’s house where further Class A drugs were found along with six cannabis plants.

The Class A Drugs found consisted of Tapamtadol, Diazepam and Zopiclone. The defendant was also charged, following the search of his home, with possession of fireworks and preventing an electrical meter from registering the correct usage of electricity.

Speaking on McGrath’s behalf defending barrister, Stefan Rafferty, said that all the drugs were for personal medicinal use and that this fact was not argued by the prosecution. He went on to explain that “the drugs were used to alleviate the chronic pain” that the defendant suffers from due to a medical condition.

Mr. Rafferty revealed that the court were in receipt of a letter from McGrath’s GP in relation to his condition and that a number of the Class A Drugs that his defendant had in his possession were the same type of drugs that he had been previously prescribed by his doctor to manage the pain.

Mr. Rafferty continued by saying that his client had been candid with both the police and his GP in terms of his drug use and that was now regularly attending his GP for help with his pain and that the indication was that this was having some degree of success.

The defending barrister stated that in relation to the fireworks charge McGrath had simply forget he had them in his possession and that “indeed they were lying at the back of his shed” while he also admitted his guilt immediately to the charge relating to the tampering of an electricity meter.

District Judge Michael Ranahan stated that he was satisfied that there was “absolutely no commercial element in relation to the drug offences”.

Mr. Ranahan said that he did “accept that the drugs were used for dealing with pain” but went on to assert that this was not thee way to deal with such problems.

In passing judgement Mr. Ranahan fined McGrath £75 for fireworks possession while for the remaining five charges he put in place a probation order for two years and 60 hours of community service.