A 40-YEAR-OLD Bandon man who pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and intent to supply was given an eight month sentence by Judge James McNulty recently.
Insp Adrian Gamble gave evidence at Bandon District Court that Denis McCarthy, 3 The Hawthorns, Bandon was caught with cannabis worth an estimated €1,440 at an apartment on Main St, Innishannon on May 26th 2015.
Det Gda Michael O’Regan from Bandon Garda Station said a warrant was issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act on May 26th to search an appartment in Innishannon.
Detective O’Regan said he met Mr McCarthy there and showed him the warrant and asked him were there drugs in the apartment. Mr McCarthy pointed to bags of cannabis in his bedroom, weighing scales and cannabis grinders in the kitchen, and he was then given a voluntary caution.
Mr McCarthy was only arrested for formal interview on May 3rd 2016 and the delay in his arrest was due to a backlog in receiving certificates of drugs analysis.
Insp Adrian Gamble told Judge McNulty that Mr McCarthy has 22 previous convictions, including eight under the Misuse of Drugs Act, while the rest related to public order and road traffic offences, with his most recent court appearance taking place in Cork District Court on June 23rd last. Mr McCarthy’s solicitor, Eamonn Fleming, said it was clear that his client fully co-operated with gardaí following the seizure of drugs and that it later emerged in interviews that the drugs were dropped off at the apartment ‘by a third party’, and that they didn’t belong to McCarthy. Mr Fleming said it was clear that his client was ‘being put under pressure’ by a third party. Det O’Regan agreed.
Mr Fleming told the court that at the age of 15, his client’s parents split up and he moved to Bandon and he had difficulties since. His client also developed Crohn’s disease and in his effort to deal with it, he started using cannabis, which relaxed him. Mr Fleming asked Judge McNulty to hold off sentencing on his client as he had a community service order over him from another appearance in Cork District Court in June, and he wanted an opportunity to do the order.
‘He’s been under a lot of pressure since this happened and he doesn’t get on with the person who owned the drugs and he is facing a prison sentence. He has an opportunity to take part in this community service order and I would ask you to postpone sentencing to give him a chance. He is actually a good support to his mother and he hasn’t come to the attention of gardaí,’ said Mr Fleming.
Judge McNulty said he would not show Mr McCarthy any leniency, as this was the second time that he has been convicted for possession with intent to supply.
‘This is punished severely and there is no reason to depart from that approach,’ said Judge McNulty.
Mr Fleming said his client had only spent two days in prison before and Judge McNulty said it was a pity he didn’t stay longer there as he’s now ‘back at the old trade’.
Judge McNulty said he acknowledged the mitigating factors and his plea of guilty, but he said it seemed Mr McCarthy had not got the message yet and the court has no sympathy for him.
‘I’m sorry he developed Crohn’s disease and that he has been good to his mother and there have been some element of coercion from somewhere up the supply chain. It’s a nasty business and can be quite brutal at times and the court acknowledges that he has been waiting over a year to be convicted, and that he has endured pre-trial anxiety. The appropriate sentence is eight months,’ said Judge McNulty.
Mr Fleming asked Judge McNulty if he would consider postponing the sentence and he said no, as the court should be consistent.
Recognisances were fixed for appeal in his own bond of €1,000.