A young man who was found in possession of almost €2,000 worth of cannabis herb, after gardai on beat patrol saw him acting suspiciously, told officers he wanted to get money for a Post Leaving Cert course and he also owed a drug debt, Dundalk Circuit Court heard last week.
The court was told that Brendan O’Hanlon (22) with an address at Patrick Street, Dundalk was studying a media course and had not come to adverse attention before the offence.
Gardaí were on foot patrol on August 31st 2016 when they came upon the defendant walking with another person in the Long Walk area.
His hands were full and he was fidgeting – raising their suspicions.
The investigating Garda spotted what looked like a lump of cannabis herb in one of his hands and he was searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The total amount recovered, amounted to €1,945.
The accused claimed that he had found a larger bag which was located under his top “in a hedge”.
Weighing scales and a grinder were also seized.
The accused told gardaí he wanted money for a PLC course and had obtained the drugs from a third party to whom he owed a drug debt.
He concluded his statement saying: “The only reason I did it was because I was in desperate need of money”.
The court heard he had only one conviction for a minor road traffic offence.
The Defence counsel said his client – lost his mother to lung cancer when he was eight, and was a 13 year old when his father died from a brain tumour.
He argued he is not someone intent on a life of criminality and was someone who could be taken advantage of.
Judge Michael O’Shea imposed a €200 fine for unlawful possession of the drug and an 18 month suspended sentence for having cannabis herb for sale or supply.