'Very capable' apprentice sold to feed drug habit

Cannabis Growhouse in Tipperary

Cannabis. Stock Photo

An apprentice steel worker was found by gardai to have cannabis valued at €3,680 at his house, after he was initially found to be in possession of a small amount of the drug.

Appearing before last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Michael Fitzpatrick with an address at 6 Park Lane, Portlaoise who was charged with possession of drugs at Link Road, Portlaoise and with possession of cannabis for sale or supply, both on March 19 last. He was initially detected to be in possession of cannabis herb, valued at €80.

The total value of the drugs detected was estimated at €3,680.

Defence solicitor, Barry Fitzgerald said the defendant’s “cannabis addiction was the trigger for the offences”.

The defendant, who is in the final year of his apprenticeship as a steel worker, had a glowing reference before the court from his employer.

He had developed an addictive pattern, and ended up “selling to satisfy his habit”. The defendant has weaned himself off the drug since, Mr Fitzgerald said.

“This is an excellent reference,” Judge Catherine Staines said. “You are obviously very capable”.

Putting the case back to December 16 for a probation report prior to sentencing, Judge Staines said she wanted to see 100 per cent compliance with the Probation Service from the defendant.

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