UP and coming model Zoe Whelan has been cleared of cannabis possession following a Garda raid on an apartment where drugs were found.
Ms Whelan, 19, appeared before a judge today to face a single count under the Misuse of Drugs Act for unlawfully possessing cannabis at Beacon Court, Sandyford, Dublin, which was also listed as her address, on July 4, 2012.
However, her charge was dismissed and she was left in the clear after Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain heard at Dublin District Court that co-accused, 31-year-old Andrew Murray, from Downpatrick Road, Crumlin, Dublin would be taking responsibility.
Ms Whelan's former boyfriend, Murray, had faced a charge for unlawfully possessing Temazepam tablets but that was amended to include the cannabis.
Detective Garda Brian Norton gave evidence of the case against Murray and told Judge Ni Chulachain that a warrant was obtained to carry out a search operation which resulted in the seizure of a small quantity of tablets and cannabis resin.
“The cannabis resin, initially Ms Whelan, his girlfriend, said that she owned it, and Mr Murray took responsibility for the tablets.”
However, Det-Gda Norton added that Mr Murray has since taken responsibility for the cannabis as well as 12 tablets recovered.
Judge Ni Chualachain heard that the cannabis was worth €20 and Mr Murray already had 18 prior criminal convictions. These included possessing drugs for sale or supply, theft, giving a false name and address, failing to give a breath sample, forgery and public order offences.
The court was told that he is a plasterer, who had previously been in the armed forces, but is not working at present.
Defence solicitor Richard Young told Judge Ni Chulachain that his client accepted that he had been in possession of the cannabis at the time. He had been using the drug after having suffered an injury, which left him with a scar and makes it difficult for him to speak, the lawyer said.
Mr Young also asked the judge to take into consideration that the offence was almost two years ago and Murray “has dealt with dealing with underlying issues”. The defence also said that he would be willing to carry out community service work.
Judge Ni Chulachain adjourned the case until a date in May to allow time for a probation report to be prepared on Murray's suitability to perform 120 hours' community service work in lieu of a three-month jail term.