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08 Aug 2022

Dundalk court: Man caught with €21,000 worth of cannabis avoids jail

Dundalk court: Man caught with €21,000  worth of cannabis avoids jail

Dundalk courthouse

A man who told gardaí who recovered €21,000 worth of cannabis from the car he was driving, that he had got the drug to turn it into an alternative medicine for his mother’s cancer treatment, last week avoided a custodial sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court.

Diarmuid Johnson (44) with an address at Church View, Clones, Co, Monaghan had pleaded guilty to having the drug for sale or supply on October 11th 2019.

Last month the court heard, gardaí from Finglas followed a Northern Ireland registered car driven by the defendant from Finglas following a suspicious transaction and stopped the car after he indicated to leave the M1 northbound at the Dunleer exit.

He consented to the vehicle being searched and indicated there was marijuana in the rear of it.

A one kilo bag of cannabis found inside a shopping bag on the back seat of the car, had an estimated street value at the time of €21,152.

The defendant, who had no previous convictions, told gardai he had paid €3,000 for the cannabis and owed another €4,000, with a view to turning it into oil to give to his mother, who had undergone surgery for cancer in her neck.

His Senior Counsel described it an act of desperation to assist his mum with ‘some kind of alternative therapy’.

No evidence of drug dealing was found on the defendant’s phone that was seized and the court heard he works voluntarily in the community, with an underage soccer team, the Tidy Towns group and as a carer for which he receives no payment.

Judge Patrick Quinn noted it was accepted by the Prosecution it was never intended that the drugs would be sold.

He imposed a €200 fine and made an order deferring the two year sentence he would have imposed, provided he complied with the conditions of a good behaviour bond.

Last Friday, Judge Quinn made an order discharging the defendant under Section 100 (11)  of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, after being told he had paid the fine and had not come to further garda attention.

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