An Abbeyleix man who was caught weighing up cannabis for sale on the same day he had received a suspended sentence at Portlaoise Courthouse has been sentenced to eight months in jail.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Alan Byrne (32), 54 Thornberry, Abbeyleix, was charged with drug possession, and having drugs for sale or supply, at the Mountrath Road, Abbeyleix.
Inspector Eamon Curley gave evidence that on January 19 this year, the gardaí searched the accused’s home and discovered a glass jar containing individually wrapped deals of cannabis, as well as empty deal bags and weighing scales.
There were 22 bags and a total of 21 grams of cannabis, and the accused told gardaí he was in the process of weighing the deals.
The accused had 47 previous convictions.
The court heard that on the day of the offence, Byrne had just that morning received a ten month suspended sentence at Portlaoise District Court.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said her client knew he was “looking down the barrel of a gun” with regards sentencing.
She said that Byrne has three children, two of whom are in care and he is trying to get them back into his own care.
He and his partner also have a one-year-old child, said Ms Troy.
Ms Troy said the accused had a background of drug addiction, but he has been attending Coote Street for three years and is now on 9ml of methadone.
Defence concluded by saying that the accused also had some mental health issues.
Judge Catherine Staines remarked: “He was given an opportunity and a suspended sentence and on the same day he was given the suspended sentence he was dealing drugs. I don’t see how much clearer the court can be.”
For having drugs for sale or supply, the judge imposed eight months in prison. The charge of drug possession was taken into consideration.
Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.