A Castletown man who cultivated a cannabis plant and had over €2,000 of drugs for sale or supply has been sentenced to five years in jail, with the last four years suspended.
At Portlaoise Circuit Court, Peter Fleming, with a listed address at Churchfield Heights, Castletown faced eight charges: three counts of drug possession for sale or supply (cocaine, cannabis and MDMA); three counts of drug possession (cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy); and one count of cultivation of a cannabis plant.
All these offences were committed at Silveracre, Castletown, on December 11, 2017. In addition, he pleaded guilty to theft, on October 26, 2017, of a suitcase containing items including cigarettes, clothing and a HP laptop.
At a previous court sitting, Sgt Brian Farrell gave evidence that the gardaí conducted a search of a garage located on the accused’s parents’ land on December 11 and found 108g of cannabis, valued at €2,160.
Sgt Farrell said that there was €490 of drugs on a table in a number of wraps, the accused had cannabis and MDMA on him, and there was also a cannabis plant found in the accused’s room.
Also found was a laptop which had been stolen in Mountrath a month earlier.
Sgt Farrell said that when interviewed, Fleming admitted selling drugs and also accepted responsibility for two thefts in the area.
The offences were committed while the accused was on a suspended sentence for his part in a vicious attack on an off-duty garda in Mountrath on July 11, 2016.
Fleming received a three-year sentence for this assault, with the final two years suspended. When he came before the circuit court in January this year, Judge Keenan Johnson ruled that he had committed gross breaches of his bond with the drug offences in Castletown and the judge activated the suspended sentence for the assault.
The drugs matter was then adjourned to June 27.
When the case returned to the circuit court recently, for the charge of sale or supply of cocaine Judge Johnson imposed a five-year sentence on the accused, with the last four suspended on condition the accused enter into a peace bond to keep the peace for ten years; he remain under probation supervision for two years and attend residential treatment for his addictions; he refrain from future consumption of illicit drugs and alcohol; he not live within a 15-mile radius of Portlaoise; and he pay €1,000 by the first anniversary of his release from prison.
The other charges were marked as taken into consideration.