Man escapes jail for cultivating social network with cannabis
A FATHER-of-four used his catering skills to cook up cannabis-filled biscuits for the purpose of "social networking".
David Flynn (45) escaped jail yesterday after a judge was told he never charged for his cannabis 'treats' -- but merely used them for the purpose of "barter" with his friends on a local social circuit.
Flynn -- who used to run a pizza company before operating his own mobile chip van -- would supply his friends and, in return, would be provided with drinks and social nights out.
No money ever changed hands for his cannabis cuisine.
Flynn of Glantane, Mallow, Co Cork, pleaded guilty before Cork Circuit Criminal Court to having cannabis for sale or supply and to cultivating cannabis plants.
The two charges followed an operation in which Mallow gardai, acting on information, called to Flynn's rented home at The Thatch, Glantane on January 23 last.
Det Sgt Michael Corbett said that Flynn was very co-operative from the outset and immediately brought gardai to two upstairs rooms in his home.
Both of these rooms had been adapted for growing cannabis plants. Gardai found a total of 21 plants -- and also recovered 224g of dried cannabis herb.
The cannabis herb had an estimated value of €2,695.
Det Sgt Corbett confirmed that no drug equipment was found at the scene -- and he said gardai were satisfied that the defendant never charged for any of his cannabis products.
The cannabis was solely used by Flynn as an ingredient in the production of cookies and a special butter spread.
Judge Patrick Moran was told Flynn was a father of four children aged between eight and 16.
He briefly worked in the insurance industry before working for a catering firm and then operating his own chip van in north Cork.
Judge Moran was told Flynn has been employed throughout his life. The court heard that, at the time of the offences, he was in the process of separating from his wife.
The judge acknowledged that, on the evidence, Mr Flynn was not operating as a drug dealer in the accepted sense.
But he added that it was still a very serious matter and imposed a three-year prison sentence -- suspended on condition the defendant entered a bond to keep the peace.