Cannabis factory accused refused bail

A man charged with operating a hydroponic cannabis growing factory and cultivating in excess of €50,000 worth of the drug has been refused bail.

Mark Webster (37 ), currently of no fixed abode, was brought in custody for a second time before Judge Mary Fahy at Galway District Court on Monday. Last week Webster was formally charged with possession of cannabis, possession of the drug with intent to sell or supply, and cultivating plants of the genus cannabis at his residence at the time of 5 New Road, Galway, on January 23, 2010.

In court this week defence solicitor Olivia Traynor made a formal application for bail. However, Inspector Michael Coppinger told the court that the State would be opposing bail on the grounds that the accused is a non-Irish national with no ties in Ireland and because of the seriousness of the offences. He added that Webster also now has no permanent address as his previous accommodation is no longer available to him.

Ms Traynor said that her client, who is English, has been in Ireland for 15 years and does have ties. She added that there were a number of persons who were willing to raise money for sureties, that Webster is willing to sign on two times a day, surrender his passport, obey a curfew, and accommodation can be provided for him.

After a short adjournment Judge Fahy refused bail. She then remanded Webster in custody to appear at Harristown District Court on February 12 for DPP directions.


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