Musician had a weighing scales and cannabis in car after festival

April 6th, 2023 11:55 AM

By Southern Star Team

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WHEN a garda stopped a musician coming back from a festival in Kilbrittain last summer she found almost €600 of cannabis in his vehicle as well as a weighing scales, a court heard last week.

Fionntain Kelly (41) of Rerahanagan, Drimolegue pleaded guilty to the possession of cannabis and to the possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Clonakilty District Court, where the court heard that he occasionally supplies his friends with the drug.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that at 7.30pm on August 20th  last Gda Aishling O’Connell was on duty in the Kilbrittain area when she came across the defendant driving.

‘She spoke to him and noticed a strong smell of cannabis from the car and then carried out a search of the car under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘During the course of the search she found 28 grams of cannabis valued at €560 as well as a grinder and a weighing scales.’ Mr Kelly admitted that the cannabis was for his own personal use and that he ‘occasionally’ supplies his friends with the drug.

The court heard that he has no previous convictions, and while his solicitor, Colette McCarthy said that while her client was also pleading to the more serious charge of supply, she said there was no suggestion he was ‘supplying for profit.’ She also said gardaí went through Mr Kelly’s phone which showed no signs of him selling the cannabis for profit and that he was sharing the drug ‘back and forth’ with friends.

However, Judge James McNulty said that if it was all so innocent involving sharing the drug with friends, then why was he driving around with a weighing scales.

Ms McCarthy said that for those using drugs like cannabis, grinders and weighing scales are part of the ‘paraphernalia’ that comes with it.

Ms McCarthy said her client is a musician, as well as a carer for his mum.

‘He had been at a festival earlier in Kilbrittain when he was stopped by Gda O’Connell. He co-operated fully. He works and plays in band and lives in a rural area. He  knows he’s at grave risk.’ 

Judge McNulty convicted him on both charges but deferred penalty for the preparation of a probation report which is to also to assess his suitability to carry out community service. 

The case was adjourned to May 16th.

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