Court - Polish man claimed €6,000 of drugs seized in Portlaoise were his own 'to aid studies'

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Court - Polish man claimed €6,000 of drugs seized in Portlaoise were his own 'to aid studies'

A Polish national claimed that €6,000 of drugs including cannabis and amphetamines seized from him in Portlaoise were for personal use only, to aid him in his third level studies.

Bartosz Glowacki (31),with an address listed in Tralee, Co. Kerry, faced two counts of having drugs for sale or supply at the recent Portlaoise Circuit Court.

Garda Detective Michael O’Donovan gave evidence, that on the night of August 18, 2014, after stopping the accused driving in Portlaoise, Det O’Donovan got a strong smell of cannabis herb from the vehicle, and there was a bag of frozen mushrooms on the front seat.

The gardaí searched the vehicle, discovering 415g of cannabis, 95g of a white powder, 76 ecstasy tablets, and two bags of mushrooms. Mobile phones and two kitchen knives were also seized.

Glowacki said the drugs were for personal use.

He told the gardaí that he grew the cannabis near Stradbally and was willing to take the gardaí there, however Det O’Donovan told the court: “He took us on a wild goose chase, there was absolutely nothing there.”

Det O’Donovan also said that at all times, the accused claimed the drugs were for personal use.

A subsequent search of the accused’s home in Kerry revealed a quantity of cannabis herb, digital weighing scales, a jar containing white powder suspected to be speed, deal bags, three tick lists, and €850 made up of 17 €50 notes hidden in a book.

Det O’Donovan said that the total value of drugs seized was €6,000, €5,000 of cannabis herb, €800 of amphetamine and €200 of ecstasy.

The accused had no previous convictions.

Defence, barrister Mr Colm Hennessy said there was an element of naivety to the accused, “an element of a Bohemian lifestyle”.

Mr Hennessy said that the drugs aided Glowacki in his studies, as the accused was a third level student.

In ruling, Judge Keenan Johnson said he did not accept that the drugs were for the accused’s own use, and he was satisfied that Glowacki had been supplying.

On one count of drug dealing, the judge imposed a three-year sentence, suspended for three years on condition the accused enter into a peace bond and remain drug free for three years.

On the second count, the judge imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of two years in prison.

“You can count yourself very fortunate you’re walking out of the court today,” the judge warned the accused.

The matter was adjourned to February 28.