Monday 15 July 2019

Heavy cannabis smoker kept drug in coal bunker

Ciara Galvin

A 23-year-old man who had €10,000 worth of drugs in a coal bunker at his home has been told he could be spared a prison term if he stays drug free.

Scott Greenhalgh of 82 Woodstream, Coolaney appeared before Sligo Circuit Court recently for the possession of €10,000 worth of cannabis for sale or supply.

Greenhalgh pleaded guilty to the charge on 5th December, 2018. Garda Eamon McDonnell told the court that a warrant was obtained on 10th July 2017 and members of the Divisional Drugs Unit entered Greenhalgh's home at Woodstream.

A search was conducted and a quantity of cannabis was found in a coal bunker.

A weighing scales was also found in the house and a personal quantity of cocaine. On later enquiries it was found there was 500grams of cannabis which valued at €10,000. Garda McDonnell told the court the drugs were in a plastic bag and were not hard to access in the bunker.

After his arrest Greenhalgh told gardaí the cannabis belonged to him and was for himself only. Garda McDonnell noted that the 23 year old was a heavy cannabis smoker, smoking up to 14 grams of cannabis per day. The court was told he had six previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters and one for drug possesion in 2014 when he was 18. Defending barrister Keith O'Grady, instructed by Tom MacSharry solicitor outlined to the court that his client had been going down a 'certain path' in 2014 when Garda McDonnell caught him in possession of drugs.

Garda McDonnell told the court he had known Greenhalgh since he was 13 or 14 years old and that his mother had been doing everything she could to keep her son away from it but unfortunately he was 'sucked in'.

The garda said Greenhalgh's mother had previously asked him to search his room for drugs in order to stop him.

The court was informed that gardaí have been keeping a close eye on the 23 year old since 2017 and he has not come to any attention. Garda McDonnell added that Greenhalgh had made a 'big effort' to stay away from garda attention and from Sligo town. Prosecution barrister, Ms Dara Foynes BL, instructed by state solicitor Elisa McHugh sough a destruction order for the quantity of drugs.

Mr O'Grady asked Judge Francis Comerford not to impose a custodial sentence as he believed this would set his client back on the path he had been trying to get away from and said if he left himself down on this matter he then would have to face a custodial sentence.

Judge Comerford noted two 'impressive people' in the matter being Garda McDonnell and Greenhalgh's mother, but said Greenhalgh did not take all the chances he had been given. The Judge noted there were signs he was leaving that behaviour behind him and he instructed that Greenhalgh undertake urinalysis every six weeks at his own expense. The matter was put back to the first criminal sittings of Sligo Circuit Court in 2020. Judge Comerford directed that the matter could be re entered if Greenhalgh comes to the attention of gardaí.

"If he has turned a corner I would be minded to suspend a sentence," said the Judge.

Sligo Champion