Limerickman caught 'bagging weed' was told to do it by 'a bad man'

GARDAI caught a man packing freezer bags with thousands of euro worth of cannabis when they searched a house at Bawnmore Road, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

GARDAI caught a man packing freezer bags with thousands of euro worth of cannabis when they searched a house at Bawnmore Road, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

Richard O'Hehir of Glenmore Drive, Caherdavin, was found wearing rubber gloves while surrounded by plastic wrapping, Sellotape, freezer bags and weighing scales in the living room of a house near Mary Immaculate College.

When asked what he was doing, the 22-year-old replied: "Doing weed. Bagging them."

He pleaded guilty to possession of drugs worth €11,342 on July 5, 2008

In court yesterday, Garda Michael Conroy gave evidence of receiving confidential information that a quantity of drugs was at house at Bawnmore Road.

Gardai searched the house under warrant and found the only occupant, Mr O'Hehir who told them, "a fella told me to go up and it would be there".

Garda Conroy told the court that investigating gardai accept that the accused was packing the drugs under duress.

The court heard that he met a man at Scotts Bar, then collected a key from the house owner and was dropped off at the house where he found the drugs and paraphernalia in a coal bunker.

He was not going to be paid for packing the 1,134 grammes worth of cannabis, the court heard, but was going to be provided with his own supply of the drug for his efforts.

Mr O'Hehir emigrated to Australia where he was working in construction for 12 months, but returned to Ireland to face the charge against him. "He is currently unemployed but has the prospect of employment if he is available to take up the work," Garda Conroy said.

Brian McInerney, BL, for the defence, said Mr O'Hehir had been told to bag the drugs by "a bad man".

"When a bad man tells you to do something, there are consequences if you don't do it," he said.

Mr McInerney said the defendant was not the kind of young man likely to come before the court again.

"I think it would be unlikely," Garda Conroy agreed.

"It is the view of the gardai that he is a man worth taking a chance on," Mr McInerney told the court.

Judge Carroll Moran acknowledged that "a lot of favourable things were being said about the accused in mitigation". The judge noted, however, that the defendant was in possession of a sizeable amount of drugs to make this a serious matter.

He adjourned sentencing until Friday and remanded Mr O'Hehir in custody until then.