Mum who had cannabis deals in her bedroom had badly lost her way

April 12th, 2023 7:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Share this article

A DUNMANWAY mum who had cannabis deals hidden in a lamp in her bedroom gave unconvincing evidence to a court that she wasn’t involved in the sale or supply of drugs, according to a district court judge.

Donna Quinn (48) of 12 Castle Street, Dunmanway denied the charge of selling cannabis at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court.

Det Gda Andrew Manning told the court that on October 29th last having received sworn information that the defendant was selling drugs from her home, he obtained a search warrant to search her home.

‘I was accompanied by members of the Cork West Divisional Drugs Unit and we called to her house at 9.40pm. Ms Quinn was not there and we carried out a search,’ said Det Gda Manning.

‘We found four individual wrap deals of cannabis up inside a lamp in her bedroom and we also found a purse with €650 of cash inside in it. 

‘We found a grinder with cannabis in her daughter’s bedroom too.’

The court heard that they also found a small digital weighing scales in a sitting room downstairs which was seized along with the drugs and cash.

Giving evidence in court, Ms Quinn said she was not selling drugs from her house and smokes cannabis for her anxiety and depression. 

She said she had brought the drugs two days previously and paid €160 for it. 

Ms Quinn said she also didn’t know who owned the weighing scales, but it later emerged that someone had come forward to say they were the owner.

‘The money they found was mine, it included a double social welfare payment, fuel and electricity allowance and money that my daughter gave me for housekeeping and it was for the NCT on my car as it was due for a re-test,’ said Ms Quinn. 

She said that all those transactions are detailed in her bank statement, while there were no phone details to indicate that she was selling drugs.

Insp Triona O’Mahony put it to Ms Quinn that in this economic climate it would be difficult to save up €650 and that taking in all the factors, it looked like she was dealing drugs.

Judge James McNulty said the defendant’s evidence was ‘not credible.’ 

In several respects he said it was ‘inconsistent and broadly unsatisfactory.’

‘For someone who acknowledges that she likes to buy in bulk, you would wonder why she didn’t have weighing scales in her house. 

‘Also why would the drugs be neatly wrapped in roles in her lamp?’ asked Judge McNulty.

‘The €650 was not savings but the proceeds of the sale of drugs. 

‘Her evidence was very poor and she has very casual supervision of those visiting her home, especially with a daughter living there,’ he added.

The court heard that Ms Quinn has seven previous convictions, including four for drugs.

Solicitor Colette McCarthy said her client suffers from anxiety.

Judge McNulty said that he can’t accept that ‘weed is good for that’ and that it only ‘exacerbates it.’

The court heard that the defendant had gone to Arbour House and shook off her addiction but is now back to it.

‘The fact that she’s a mum of a 20-year-old girl and weed was stored in her bedroom is an indicator of how badly this woman has lost her way,’ said Judge McNulty.

He sentenced her to six months on the sale or supply charge, while he placed her under the supervision of the probation services for one year under the simple possession charge.

An appeal was lodge by Ms Quinn in her own bond of €100 with no cash required and Judge McNulty directed that while she is on bail awaiting her appeal she is not to involve herself in any way in the sale or supply or storage of any controlled drugs. 

She is not to allow her home to be used for any such drug purpose either and she must be of a good behaviour and commit no offence while out on bail.

‘She might have a better and more truthful story to tell the Circuit Court judge,’ the judge added.

Tags used in this article

Share this article