A 22-Year-old Bantry man has been sent to jail for eight months after he was convicted of having cannabis for the purpose of sale or supply.
Judge James McNulty also imposed a €400 fine on the accused, James Horgan of 24, Pairc na Carraige, Bantry, on a second charge – of cannabis possession.
Sgt Paul Kelly said Gda Laura O’Sullivan, together with other members of Bantry gardaí, and members of the Cork Divisional Drugs Unit, obtained a search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act and searched the house on March 22nd 2018.
When approached by the gardaí, the sergeant said the accused pro-duced a bag of cannabis herb worth €100 and he was cautioned by Det Gda Andrew Manning.
An examination of his mobile phone showed that he was supplying cannabis to other people and the prosecuting sergeant read out a number of the texts in court.
One said: ‘Hi James, have you got any more of the same stuff? It was quite nice and didn’t make me cough because of my flu.’
Another said: ‘You legend. Is it the same batch or different? In town now. You about?’ While a third said: ‘Can we get another gramme, please?’
Ray Hennessy, solicitor defending, contested the value of the cannabis, claiming it was actually only €25. He said his client did supply some of his friends ‘but he certainly wouldn’t be a dealer in the true sense’.
The solicitor claimed the prosecution’s decision to bring a charge of sale or supply against his client was ‘a bit harsh’, but Judge James McNulty said: ‘There was certainly a flow of drugs going back and forth. It is clear to me he is dealing and it is not his first time.’
The judge pointed out that the accused had appealed a District Court conviction on severity and the sentence was suspended. ‘At that stage, he was 20. Now he is 22 and he is re-offending.
‘The court can’t show him any leniency. These matters are way too serious. This man is a low-level dealer,’ he added.
‘I have no doubt he is buying from someone else up the supply chain and he is then distributing and selling to other users.
‘Given that he is re-offending, and that he has not learned his lesson, he is not entitled to any mitigation. The court sentences him to eight months imprisonment.’
Mr Hennessy asked for recognisances to be fixed for an appeal.