Cannabis user’s at­ti­tude is not at the races, says judge

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Liam Heylin

A judge has ques­tioned the at­ti­tude of a West Cork man fac­ing sen­tence for grow­ing cannabis, two years ago, as it emerged the ac­cused had con­tin­ued to smoke dope.

Richard Cul­li­nane, aged 47, of The Chalets, Dun­ny­cove, Ard­field, Clon­akilty, pleaded guilty to cul­ti­vat­ing cannabis at his house on July 7, 2015.

Judge Seán Ó Donnab­háin said he was not happy with what was con­tained in the pro­ba­tion re­port about Cul­li­nane.

“He is up be­fore the bench for a drugs of­fence. His at­ti­tude is, ‘I am smok­ing dope for the last 30 years, I can’t do any­thing about it’.

“This guy is not at the races,” said the judge, “some­one bet­ter put him in the stalls.

“Where are we go­ing to go?” asked Judge Ó Donnab­háin.

Peter O’Flynn, de­fend­ing, said Cul­li­nane is is fi­nally wean­ing him­self off the drug.

He said the de­fen­dant would en­gage with Ar­bour House.

Judge Ó Donnab­háin re­manded Cul­li­nane in cus­tody un­til Novem­ber 23 to com- mence drug coun­selling prison.

“He has ap­proached this case on a to­tally un­re­al­is­tic ba­sis,” the judge said.

“He did not ap­proach it in a vol­un­tary man­ner. It has to be done this way now.”

In the course of the Cork Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court hear­ing last week, Garda Kevin Kennedy said he had ob­tained a war­rant to search the house.

“I at­tended at the house. No one was present. We gained en­try through an un­locked side door. We found 17 sus­pected cannabis plants, 11 of in them were fully grown and six were small plants.”

Other items found in­cluded weigh­ing scales, bags and a pipe for smok­ing cannabis.

Later in the day, the ac­cused ar­rived home and ad­mit­ted own­er­ship of the cannabis. He told gar­daí the drug was for his own per­sonal use.

Cul­li­nane, the court heard, co-op­er­ated with the garda in­ves­ti­ga­tion and en­tered a plea of guilty at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.

He had three pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for hav­ing drugs for his own use.

Judge Seán Ó Donnab­háin: Re­manded ac­cused in cus­tody.

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