An Irishman who grew his own cannabis, so he would not have to deal with “scumbag” (undesirable) drug dealers, managed to avoid jail this week in Dublin. He was given 180 hours of community service.

Gerard Batten pleaded guilty at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He admitted that he had cultivated 25 cannabis plants in his home in September 2008.

He said “I smoke it and I didn't want to be dealing with scumbags.”

Batten, who has a considerable drug habit, explained that while he was unemployed he had ordered the equipment and grown the plants.

The police officer Ronan O'Malley said “He admitted the cannabis plants, which are valued at €400 each, were for his own use.”

Judge Tony Hunt ruled that Batten was at low risk of reoffending and ordered the confiscation of his plants and cultivation equipment.