A Portlaoise man suffering from schizophrenia who started taking cannabis at around the age of 14 has been given a chance to do community service in lieu of going to jail having been convicted of having €100 of the drug for sale or supply.
Keith Foley (25), with an address listed as Borris Little, Portlaoise, was charged at Portlaoise District Court with drug possession, and possession for sale or supply.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on March 10 last, the gardaí conducted a search of the accused's residence and found four deal bags of cannabis valued at €100 in the wardrobe, along with deal bags and weighing scales.
The accused admitted having the drug for supply to his friends and did not make a profit from it.
He had four previous convictions for drugs offences, including one for cultivation, and a number of convictions for other offences.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had an entrenched addiction to cannabis and had “no great motivation to address it”.
She said he was under the care of the mental health services and was being administered injections for schizophrenia, having started cannabis at the age of 14 or 15.
Judge Catherine Staines noted that such usage can lead to schizophrenia, to which Ms Fitzpatrick replied that the accused had been diagnosed with the condition within the last two years.
“It's a criminal offence to supply drugs and that has to stop,” Judge Staines warned the accused.
The matter was adjourned to March 4 next year for a community service report, with Judge Staines recommending 100 hours' community service in lieu of three months in prison.
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