Cannabis addict with debts of €6,000 lured into dealing, court hears

A cannabis addict who amassed €6,000 in debts was lured into dealing drugs to a close circle of people in order to repay what he owed, the Galway District Court heard.

The 32-year-old defendant had been arrested after the Garda drugs unit discovered €1,000 of cannabis resin, €3,000 in cash, and weighing scales at his place of residence.

Emmet Larkin, with an address at 12 Monivea Park, Galway, appeared in court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, and possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or otherwise supply to others, contrary to Section 3 and 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, on May 2, 2009.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at 4.40pm members of the garda drugs unit conducted a search at 12 Monivea Park and found the drugs, cash and weighing scales, and that Larkin was arrested and conveyed to Galway Garda Station for questioning.

During interviews Larkin told gardai that he had owed a “considerable” amount of money and that some of the money he had saved up to repay this debt. The inspector explained that Larkin had been addicted to cannabis and had started to deal to a close number of people he knew over the course of a couple of months.

Defence solicitor Adrian McLynn said that €1,200 of the money found by gardai was not related to his client’s involvement in drugs. He added that a copy of a psychiatric report had been furnished to the inspector and that he had a number of testimonials to hand into court.

Referring to reports Judge Mary Fahy noted that Larkin has been clean from alcohol for three years and six months but that it was a much shorter time for drug use. She added, however, that a medical report had returned a negative result for drugs.

Inspector Coppinger told the court that Larkin has three previous convictions which include possession of drugs in 2000 and a public order and larceny offence in 2007. He later said that Larkin had built up a debt of €6,000 which he had been endeavouring to pay back and that this had “lured him into dealing”.

Mr McLynn said that Larkin “embarked on a rehabilitation programme on the date of the offence” and that at the time his client had lacked confidence and resorted to alcohol. He added that Larkin had been an “excessive drinker” who then moved on to “illicit substances”. Mr McLynn said that Larkin now has a more positive approach to life and has addressed his problems with serious intent.

After consideration of the evidence Judge Fahy ordered the forfeiture of €1,800 of the money seized to the State as well as the destruction of the cannabis and paraphenalia. She then remanded Larkin on continuing bail for the preparation of a community service report and, if found suitable, ordered him to carry out 200 hours of community service or six months jail in lieu.

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