A DISTRICT court judge said he was concerned about the thought processes of a man who bought a stun gun on eBay and his ‘a la carte’ attitude towards the law.
Judge Colm Roberts made the remark when dealing with the case of Damien Queen (60) of Coolmountatin, Dunmanway at Clonakilty District Court last week where a probation report was presented to the court.
Mr Queen had previously pleaded guilty in court to the possession of cannabis, the cultivation of 20 cannabis plants and the possession of a firearm without a certificate at his home.
The court heard at the time that the plants were in a very poor condition and that the stun gun was found in an upstairs bedroom.
It also operated as a torch but didn’t work.
Solicitor Eamonn Fleming said that well-known gardener Monty Don wouldn’t have been happy with the ‘husbandry’ of the cannabis plants and that it was a mad notion which wasn’t fully thought-out by his client.
‘He was being troubled by dogs and went online and bought the stun gun. It never worked properly,’ said Mr Fleming.
Judge Roberts said it was a bit worrying that the defendant’s thought process was inclining to that direction.
‘There’s a bit of slight paranoia and taking things into his own hands – animals have rights too,’ said Judge Roberts.
The court heard that the defendant has previous convictions here and in the UK, including one for the possession of firearms and ammunition in 1990 where he received an eight-year sentence.
Mr Fleming said the probation report shows that his client has had a chequered upbringing but Judge Roberts noted from the report that Mr Queen has a long history of smoking cannabis and that he seems ‘unapologetic’, or has an addiction.
Judge Roberts said the defendant’s previous conviction for a firearm causes some concern.
‘You would think that after an eight-year sentence you would never touch a firearm again. Either he doesn’t accept the law, or he is unwilling to change his choices.’
Mr Queen told the court that he had bought the stun gun on eBay and had no awareness that it came under the firearms category. Judge Roberts said that ‘just because it’s available on the internet doesn’t mean you can bring it in.’
Judge Roberts convicted and fined him €500 on the firearms charge, €300 on the cultivation charge and €150 on simple possession.
‘He has to realise that he can’t dip in and out of laws that he agrees with, and the a la carte nature of his thought process concerns me,’ the judge added.