Polish man claimed €6,000 of drugs seized in Portlaoise were for personal use

Cannabis and amphetamines to aid third level studies, says defence

Court - Smashed garda patrol car outside Portlaoise courthouse

A Polish national convicted of having €6,000 of drugs for sale in Portlaoise, which he claimed were for personal use, has been given the maximum amount of community service in lieu of going to jail.

Bartosz Glowacki (31),with an address listed in Tralee, Co. Kerry, claimed that that the drugs, which included cannabis and amphetamines, were to aid him in his third level studies.

The accused first appeared before the local circuit court at the end of 2016, where Garda Detective Michael O’Donovan gave evidence, that when he stopped the accused driving in Portlaoise on the night of August 18, 2014, he got a strong smell of cannabis herb from the vehicle, and there was a bag of frozen mushrooms on the front seat.

The gardaí found 415g of cannabis, 95g of a white powder, 76 ecstasy tablets, and two bags of mushrooms. Two mobile phones and two kitchen knives were also seized.

Glowacki acknowledged what the drugs were and said they 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 the back of a book.

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

Defence, barrister Mr Colm Hennessy said that the drugs aided Glowacki in his studies, as the accused was a third level student of structural engineering.

However, 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 to others.

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, and adjourned the matter for the accused to be assessed to do the work.

When the case returned to the circuit court this morning (Tuesday, February 28) the accused was found suitable for community service.

Judge Johnson imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of 18 months in prison.

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