A Polish truck driver has been jailed for five years for possessing and cultivating an estimated €145,000 of drugs at his partner's Dublin home.
Piotr Siatka (31) evaded gardai for three weeks after they discovered the drugs, cultivation paraphernalia and €12,300 cash at the home of his partner, supermarket employee Magdalena Krol (31) and their two children.
The young mother received a three year suspended sentence for allowing her home to be used to store drugs.
Garda Padraic Walsh revealed that Siatka, a truck driver with an address at Fortunes Lawn, Tallaght, eventually handed himself in but claimed the drugs had belonged to a deceased friend.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing and cultivating the drugs at Newlands Manor Green, Clondalkin on September 9, 2012. He has five previous convictions for minor road traffic offences.
Krol, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to allowing the premises to be used as drugs storage on the same date.
Gda Walsh told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that Krol initially denied any knowledge of drugs in the house when he and colleagues arrived at the door with a warrant. The woman later admitted they belonged to her boyfriend.
Gda Walsh said colleagues discovered over 40 cannabis plants, worth €800 each, growing in one room after they forced entry through the locked door.
They found cannabis herb worth €31, 000 in the attic and what was later discovered to be over €87,000 of amphetamine in six bags in the garden shed.
They also seized scales, a water measurer, a lamp, two mobile phones and a tick list, as well as the cash Siatka claimed was the couple's savings.
Gda Walsh told Ms Murphy that Krol admitted her partner had interfered with the ESB box so that the meter wouldn't reflect the amount of energy being used at the home.
He said Siatka claimed in interview that the drugs had belonged to a deceased friend and that he had been receiving instructions over the phone on how to tend the plants.
The garda agreed with Una Ni Raifeartaigh SC, defending, that Siatka has no previous convictions in Poland and that he had co-operated fully with the investigation once he handed himself in.
Gda Walsh agreed with Pieter Le Vert, defending Krol, that his client told gardai she had asked her partner to stop cultivating drugs and that she had no dealings with the plants.
Mr Le Vert asked Judge Nolan to take into consideration his client's clean record, early guilty plea, good work history and the fact she was unlikely to come before the courts again.
Ms Ni Raifeartaigh submitted her client's work references in which he is described as “exceptionally skilled and hard working”.
Judge Nolan suspended Krol's sentence for three years taking into account the future welfare of her children.
He said Siatka “should have known better” and must now “pay the price for his decisions” and gave him a five year prison sentence.