Sunday 26 January 2020

Chef who cooked at Áras an Uachtaráin spared jail for cultivating cannabis

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Tom Tuite

A CHEF, who has cooked at Áras an Uachtaráin, has been spared a criminal record and a prison sentence for cultivating cannabis.

Albert Hayes (54), with an address at North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 pleaded guilty in November to Misuse of Drugs Act offences.

He admitted unlawful possession of cannabis and cultivating cannabis at his home address where gardai found five plants during a search.

Dublin District Court heard the value of the plants, if they had reached full growth, would have been €4,000.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier pleaded for leniency. He asked Judge Bryan Smyth to note the value of the plants was €100 because they had not been fully grown.

He said his client had been smoking cannabis but did not want to be involved with drug dealers so he grew the plants instead.

The court heard Hayes was in a stable relationship.

He has quit smoking and gardai arriving at his home had been a significant shock.

Mr Collier said his client needed Garda vetting for some of his work, when he cooks at nursing homes and other locations.

He has had cooked at various venues including Áras an Uachtaráin, the solicitor said.

Judge Smyth had said the court needed a probation report on Hayes and urine analysis had to be carried out.

The report was furnished to the court today.

Mr Collier asked the judge to note the report was positive and stated his client was in “a low risk category”. He had shown significant awareness and engaged well with his probation officer, the solicitor said.

Pleading for leniency, he told Judge Smyth his client had a long work history since he left school. He had lived a productive life in the UK and the USA.

Hayes did not want to come to any more attention, and the Probation Service suggested no further involvement with him, Mr Collier said.

Judge Smyth applied the Probation of Offenders Act on the two charges, sparing him a conviction and a possible sentence.

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