AN ENGINEER who turned to drug dealing because of financial pressures has been given a three-month suspended sentence.
Mark Donnan (24) was caught with €2,800 worth of cannabis at his home and in his car in what was described as an "amateurish" first attempt at selling drugs.
Judge Timothy Lucey refused to leave him without a criminal record, saying the sale or supply of drugs had to be marked with a sentence, even where there were no previous convictions.
Donnan admitted possession of cannabis herb at his home at Seagrange Road, Baldoyle, and in his car at the Willie Nolan Road, on November 4.
The investigating garda told Dublin District Court that €400 worth of the drugs were found in the car and rest was recovered in a follow-up search of his house. There was also an extendable 'Asp' baton in the car.
The court heard he was extremely co-operative with the gardai once he was stopped.
"It was very obvious from speaking to him that he was very upset over the whole ordeal," the garda said.
Donnan had been working for an engineering firm, was let go and had got into financial difficulties as a result, his solicitor Alice O'Reilly said.
"As a result of the pressure, he succumbed sadly to the misfortune of taking to trying to dispose of these drugs," Ms O'Reilly said. She said it was his very first attempt at doing this and it showed "how amateurish he was".
"He is truly remorseful," she continued. "Seeing what other people have suffered because of people pushing drugs, he is now happy he was caught and stopped in his tracks."
Donnan was due to go to Rome where there was a two-week job for him, which may lead on to other things.
"I don't think he will be before these courts again for anything in the future and I would ask the court could it see its way to leaving him without an criminal record so he can progress with his life," Ms O'Reilly added.
The three-month sentence was suspended for a year on condition Donnan entered a bond to keep the peace.