A PAINTER-decorator caught with an illegal stimulant in his bedroom has been ordered to carry out community service to avoid jail on a drug-dealing charge.
Aaron Else (28) had more than €400 worth of PVP, as well as a smaller amount of cannabis, when gardai raided his home.
A court heard he had developed a number of medical conditions when he began taking drugs.
Else, of Cherrywood Crescent, Nangor Road, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to possession of PVP with intent to sell or supply at his home on February 20, 2012. He also admitted possession of cannabis at the same address on the same date.
Sgt Maria O'Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court that gardai found a quantity of PVP and cannabis herb in the accused's bedroom, along with weighing scales and plastic cut-offs.
He admitted selling drugs to make money and told gardai he had thought the PVP was cocaine. The drug had a value of €410 and the cannabis was worth €10.
The accused came from a good family who had been "distraught at his actions", his solicitor said.
The court heard the accused had suffered from depression from a young age and developed alopecia.
Through stress and depression, he had developed psoriasis and began taking drugs, his solicitor said.
He was prescribed heavy medication by his GP in late 2011. After his arrest, the accused "realised he needed to get himself together" and went for counselling.
Even taking the medical issues into account, the accused had worked for the same employer for the past 13 years and no longer had any involvement in drugs.
The accused's solicitor asked Judge David McHugh not to give Else a prison sentence and to "allow him to make progress in life".
Judge McHugh said "self-medication" by using illegal drugs was a criminal act and he did not consider it to be mitigation.
Judge McHugh told him to carry out 150 hours community service instead of a four-month prison sentence and fined him €500 on the possession of cannabis charge.