Cannabis factory accused remanded in custody

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A 38-year-old woman has appeared in court charged in connection with the discovery of cannabis factory in Dungiven.

Julie Ruth Wilson, a mother of three from Larch Road in the town, is charged with cultivating cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of the class B drug.

She is also charged with dishonestly using electricity, fraud by false representation and simple possession of cannabis on June 20.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court he believed he could connect the 38-year-old to the charges.

Wilson wept openly throughout the hearing.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in Wilson’s Larch Road home. It is alleged 347 cannabis plants - with a street value of £250,000 - were found in the property.

Opposing bail, the officer said Wilson has 22 previous convictions - 12 of which are for drugs offences. The officer also told the court that Wilson has previous convictions for cultivating and supplying cannabis.

The court heard the main prosecution witness is Wilson’s landlord and police fear the 38-year-old may interfere with witnesses if released on bail.

The officer added that a number of other people are still at large in connection with the investigation and are being sought by police.

Defence solicitor Cathy Grant said the proposed bail address was with Wilson’s current partner, who works in the prison service.

Deputy District Judge Joe Rice refused bail stating there is a ‘danger of interference with the course of the continuing investigation.’

Wilson was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink next month.