A 48-YEAR-old man who denied that traces of cannabis found at his home were his, was convicted and fined €50 for the offence.
Kieran Cronin, with an address at 5 High Street, Drimoleague, appeared at a recent sitting of Bantry District Court to contest the charge of the possession of cannabis.
Detective Garda Andrew Manning from the Cork West Divisional Drugs Unit in Bandon told the court that on March 3rd they executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home on Main Street, Schull. Following a search of the house Gda Manning said he found a bag with traces of cannabis down the side of an armchair and cautioned the defendant.
‘I had information before I went to the defendant’s house and the traces I found were later sent to the lab which confirmed it was cannabis,’ said Gda Manning.
‘I cautioned him at the time and he said the cannabis wasn’t his and that he doesn’t use it and he refused to sign a statement.’
Giving evidence in court Kieran Cronin said he remembers the day and what happened was completely different to what Gda Manning said had happened.
‘They came to my door with a key and they brought me upstairs while the sniffer dog was running around everywhere. He showed me clingfilm and said it was found by a bin in the living room and questioned me on the stairs,’ said Mr Cronin.
‘I refused to sign the memo and said it wasn’t mine.’
Supt Fogarty asked the defendant why he didn’t say in the caution memo that there were no drugs in the house.
‘Gda Manning said there were traces of cannabis found in the side of an armchair and I put it to you that they found it and it was yours as you never said it belonged to anyone else,’ said Supt Fogarty.
Mr Cronin said he didn’t know whether he was coming or going when they arrived at his house, and questioned how much drugs were actually found at his home.
Supt Fogarty said there was a certificate to prove that the traces found were cannabis.
Judge Mary Dorgan said she had listened carefully to the evidence.
She was of the view that that Gda Manning’s version of what happened was the correct one.
Solicitor Flor Murphy pointed out that his client was charged with the possession of cannabis, but that he had never been told how much was involved.
Judge Dorgan said she was taking into account that it was traces of the drug found.
Supt Fogarty told the court that the defendant had previous convictions for possession and also for the cultivation of cannabis.
Judge Dorgan convicted and fined the defendant €50 with three months to pay.
She also fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal, in the defendant’s own bond of €100.