Thursday 18 January 2018

'Heavy' cannabis smoker kept drug in socks in boiler house

A man who kept cannabis herb valued at almost €2,000 in three socks in the boiler house of the house next door to his was a heavy user of the drug, his solicitor told Sligo District Court.

Denis Gaffney of Rathbraughan Park denied having the drug for sale or supply and the court was told this charge was brought because of the quantity but also because of his means as he wasn't working and was earning around €180 a week in social welfare.

Mr Gerard McGovern, solicitor (defending) said the defendant was pleading to a possession charge only as the cannabis was for his own use.

"He is a very heavy smoker of cannabis," said Mr McGovern who added that the badges to fit with a sale or supply charge weren't present as there were no scales found nor phones or cash.

The defendant had pointed out where the drug was hidden. Sergeant John Walsh said the cannabis herb was found in three socks in the boiler house of the dwelling next door to where the defendant lived.

Gaffney told him that the Gardaí had got lucky and that this was all the grass he had. The witness said that his recommendation to the DPP's office was for a sale or supply charge as the amount involved was too much even for a heavy smoker of the drug which he accepted the defendant was.

He added tht it may also have been a preemptive strike by the Gardaí in that the drug hadn't been bagged into deals.

Mr McGovern pleaded the cannabis was "grow your own stuff" but witness said this could in some cases be even more potent.

Gaffney told Gardaí the cannabis was worth €500 to €600 and the he uses all his dole money on buying it. He said he was selling ito fund his own habit and wasn't in debt to dealers or selling it on their behalf. Asked how he paid for it he made no comment.

Judge Kilrane said that even if it was accepted that the value was of between €500 and €600 how it was being paid for was of relevance.

Mr McGovern pleaded that the defendant wouldn't be smoking it alone with funds being supplied by others.

"Instead of going down town for a few pints they'd have a smoke-up in the house," said Mr McGovern. He added that cannabis became addictive for the defendant whom the court heard had previous convictions. Mr McGovern said the defendant had been a good footballer but unfortunately he didn't keep playing it.

Judge Kilrane fined the defendant €300 on the possession charge and adjourned the sale or supply charge to December 14th for continuing monitoring.

Sligo Champion

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