€2,400 of cannabis 'could not be considered for personal use'
Published 27/10/2015 | 00:00
Enough cannabis to last him for at least a year and a quarter could not be seen as being for personal use, defendant James O'Leary (29) of 2 Morrissey's Land in New Ross was told by Judge Gerard Haughton.
A large amount of the drug, valued at more than €2,000, came to light during a garda search at the home of Aisling Boyle at Raheenkennedy in August of last year.
O'Leary, represented by solicitor Ian Ryan, entered a plea of guilty to possession of cannabis but denied having the drug for sale or supply.
The court was told that the large stash came his way through Done Deal, given to him as payment for a van by a man he encountered through the website.
Garda Pat Kelly said he and three colleagues had a search warrant when they went to Ms Boyle's house on the morning of August 3, 2014.
The garda discovered small quantities of the drug in the house, in a tablet container and a box. However, a detective made a more significant find in a dog kennel in the garden.
The total haul came to 122 grams and the witness calculated a street value of €2,440.
At a rate of one or two joints on a Saturday night, the prosecution estimated that this would be enough for up to two and a half years smoking.
'I had no intention of selling it,' declared O'Leary when he entered the witness box. He confirmed that he had bought a van but the engine blew up and he was offered the cannabis as swap by someone he met via Done Deal.
The unemployed defendant could not recall the registration of the vehicle or the name of the purchaser.
His solicitor pointed out that no drug dealing paraphernalia such as bags, scales or cash were discovered.
However, Judge Gerard Haughton said he was entitled to make inferences from the scale of a find which, even on the basis of O'Leary's own calculations, was sufficient for a year and a quarter.
The accused was grossly in excess of the amount which could be considered for personal use. Convictions for possession of cannabis and for having the drug for sale or supply were imposed, with €650 in fines.