Limerick man who was growing cannabis not ‘on the garda radar’

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Courthouse
A MAN who admitted growing cannabis plants in the attic of his home has been warned if he re-offends he will go to prison.

A MAN who admitted growing cannabis plants in the attic of his home has been warned if he re-offends he will go to prison.

Robert Earls, aged 29, who has an address at Nicholas Street admitted cultivating 19 cannabis plants, which were discovered during a garda search on June 17, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply.

During a sentencing hearing Detective Garda David Baynham of the divisional drugs unit said the plants, which were at different stages of maturity, were found in the attic along with an adapted lighting system when the defendant’s home was searched shortly after 5pm on the date of the offence.

The potential street value of the plants seized was around €11,200.

Mr Earls admitted he was using cannabis around the time and that he had been put under pressure to grow the plants in order to repay a debt he owed.

Mark Nicholas BL, defending, said his client had no trappings of wealth and was not growing the plants for any personal gain.

“There was no flat screen tv or flashy car outside,” he said adding that the growing operation was “not very sophisticated”.

Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell described the growing of cannabis plants as “reprehensible” but he noted the positive contents of a probation report and the fact that the defendant is “not on the garda radar”.

He imposed a two year prison sentence, suspending it for two years on condition Ears stays out of trouble and cooperates with the Probation Service during that time.

He also ordered the destruction of the drugs seized.