A married father of four, whose children range in age from nine to one, was given a suspended sentence at Ballina District Court on Tuesday after he was detected cultivating two cannabis plants as well as having cannabis resin in his possession.
Detective Garda Sinead Caheny obtained a search warrant which she executed on September 8 2008 at a house in Greenhills Estate where Christopher Timlin, who now lives at 157 Greenhills Estate, was residing at the time.
Timlin handed Garda Caheny a piece of cannabis which he retrieved from a shelf in the house and told her that it was for his own use. The street value of this cannabis was €330. Outside the back door of the premises two cannabis plants were discovered. Gda Caheny told the court that it was hard to put a value on these plants.
Defending solicitor Marc Loftus explained that there was “no sophistication” in the cultivation of these plants and that they were for Timlin’s own use.
Judge Mary Devins said to the defendant “you just don’t care about your children”, as the children could easily have reached the shelf where the cannabis was stashed or have opened the back door. Timlin said that his children did not have access to the back of the house and would therefore not have come into contact with the plants.
The unemployed man was convicted and fined €500 for the cultivation of the plants and sentenced to prison for three months, with the sentence suspended for 12 months on the condition that no convictions were recorded under the misuse of drugs act. For the possession of the cannabis Timlin was convicted and fined €200. Judge Devins told the defendant to “put your children first and yourself second in the future”.