A defence solicitor told Dundalk district court last week his client has turned his life around, and saved up money to pay off a €3,500 debt which he claimed had resulted in him dealing cannabis.
Paul Agnew (27) formerly with an address at Williamsons Place, Dundalk, was charged with having cannabis for sale or supply at Rampart Lane, Dundalk and at his former home, where he was also charged with unlawful possession of the drug on March 12th last year.
Court presenter Sgt. Jimmy McGovern outlined how members of the Dundalk drugs unit stopped a Volkswagen golf on Rampart Lane and spoke to the two occupants.
They detected a smell of cannabis and during a search of the vehicle recovered two cling film wrapped packs of cannabis and €200 in cash.
The defendant was arrested on suspicion of having drugs for sale or supply and when his rented accommodation at Williamson's Place was searched under warrant, gardaí recovered a large quantity of the drug, empty deal bags and a 'tick list'.
Paul Agnew admitted supplying cannabis to a number of people. The court heard he had no previous convictions.
The Defence solicitor said his client had been labouring under a cannabis addiction for approximately three years and had been approached by a person in a pub and having accrued a debt of €3,500 he could not stop at that point.
However, he stressed that since then, he has turned his life around.
He moved back home and had saved up the money to clear the debt from his work in a filling station.
A certificate from his GP was also handed into court, proving he is free of all intoxicants and the solicitor urged the court to consider referring Mr. Agnew to the Probation Service.
Sgt. McGovern confirmed the defendant had not come to garda attention in the interim.
Judge McKiernan said she did not accept the excuse of dealing to clear the drug debt saying " go get a second job".
She imposed a four month sentence for one of the sale or supply charges and marked the rest taken into consideration, and fixed recognizances of a €500 cash lodgement, in the event of an appeal being lodged.
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