A former Trinity science student and his Offaly housemate have been given non-custodial sentences at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for selling cannabis from the apartment they shared.
Guy Larosche (25) and his housemate Brian Mannion (25) will both have to carry out community service in lieu of two years in prison. Neither man had ever come to garda attention and both had no previous convictions.
Larosche, of The Mews, Donnybrook, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis resin for sale or supply and cultivating cannabis plants at Upper Leeson Street without a licence on December 12, 2007. Mannion, of Avondale, Birr, Co Offaly, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis resin for sale or supply on the same occasion.
Judge Katherine Delahunt also ordered Larosche to pay a €1,000 fine and said he would spend 20 days in prison if he failed to pay.
Garda John Griffin told Ms Melanie Greally, prosecuting, that gardai acting on confidential information saw a young man leaving the apartment at 8.15pm and when they searched him found a quantity of cannabis resin.
Gardai searched the house and made a number of seizures. Mannion was present but Larosche was absent.
In the sittingroom gardai found two pieces of cannabis resin and €265 in cash. In the kitchen they found three blocks of cannabis resin and a weighing scales. In Mannion's bedroom they found powdered ecstasy and in Larosche's bedroom they found cannabis grass and a small number of magic mushrooms.
Cannabis plants to the value of €900 were found in the attic of the house. Mannion was arrested that day and Larosche presented himself the following day at Dundrum Garda station.
Mannion took responsibility for cannabis and ecstasy to the value of €1,390, while Larosche admitted responsibility for drugs valued at €2,910 and cash to the value of €2,170.
Mannion told gardai he had given the young man leaving the apartment cannabis and charged him €150. He accepted he was responsible for the cannabis in the sittingroom and the ecstasy in his bedroom but denied responsibility for the other items. He said he was not a drug addict but used cannabis occasionally at that time.
Larosche told gardai he was selling hash to make money to feed his own habit and accepted responsibility for the balance of the cannabis and the magic mushrooms. He accepted the scales and bags were drug paraphernalia and said he had been cultivating the cannabis plants for three months.
Mr Shane Costelloe, defending Mannion, said his client had been told that if a number of Larosche's friends should call to the house to buy drugs, he could sell them drugs from the stash belonging to Larosche who would get the money. The powdered ecstasy was for his own use.
He said Mannion was technically supplying the drugs but they did not belong to him and he was not making any profit. At the time of the offence he was working as a barman and smoking cannabis at home
He said Mannion was now married with a child and doing a FAS course to further his education. He was unlikely to come to garda attention again and was remorseful.
Mr Kerida Naidoo, defending Larosche, said he had been studying science in Trinity and had become socially dependent on hash. He failed his exams and left college in May 2006. He was at a low ebb and began dealing to feed his own habit. He said Larosche had handed himself in to gardai and given candid answers.
Mr Naidoo said after this offence Larosche's life turned around dramatically and he was now drug-free and enrolled in DIT studying science.