A 43-YEAR-old grandmother who was found in possession of 24 grammes of cannabis was convicted of having it for the purpose of sale or supply.
Julie Burke of 11 Dromleigh, Bantry, was remanded on bail to appear at Bantry District Court on May 23rd for the imposition of penalty.
Solicitor Flor Murphy said his client was pleading guilty to a charge of possession – an offence for which Judge James McNulty imposed a €300 fine – but she was contesting the ‘sale or supply’ charge.
Insp Ian O’Callaghan called Gda Louise Kingston to give evidence. She told the court that she got a smell of cannabis when the accused was in the public office of Bantry Garda Station on the afternoon of December 18th 2018.
Gda Kingston said she asked the accused for permission to search her bag and her car, which was parked outside the station, and the accused said it was okay.
Gda Kingston said a bag, containing the cannabis, fell out of the glove compartment and when questioned Julie Burke declined to say where she had got it, other than to say: ‘I got it from a friend of a friend in Cork.’
Solicitor Flor Murphy said his client – a mother of seven and a grandmother of two – admitted the cannabis was for her own use.
But he said his client would deny ever telling Gda Kingston that she supplied cannabis to her friends. He told the court: ‘What she actually said was that she used it “when her friends came around”, which is not the same as supply.’
Mr Murphy also accounted for the €885 cash found in Julie Burke’s possession, saying she had just taken out a credit union loan in the amount of €1,500 to buy Christmas presents for her family. In evidence in her own defence, the accused said 24 grammes of cannabis would have kept her ‘going for a few months’.
Judge McNulty said he didn’t believe that the cannabis was for her own personal use and he told the accused she was looking at a custodial sentence.
The accused was released on bail to appear at the May 23rd sitting of Bantry District Court when Judge McNulty will impose penalty.
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