Depressed milkman cultivated cannabis

A depressed milkman, who lost his lucrative milk round, resorted to cultivating cannabis in what was described in court yesterday as a small, but sophisticated, growhouse operation.

Detective Garda Tom O’Sullivan testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that officers obtained a warrant to search the home of the accused, Darren O’Connor, aged 32, at Coach House, Annahalla West, Toames, Macroom, Co Cork, on January 13, 2014.

The officers conducted a drugs search.

“In an adjoining garage we found a timber construction lined with tinfoil and plastic. We found 10 plants that had reached maturity,” Det Garda O’Sullivan said.

Halogen lights and other equipment associated with the growing of cannabis were also found and the cannabis was described as being mature, of good quality and ready for harvest.

Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting, asked the detective how sophisticated the operation was. He said it was a small operation but the quality of the plants was high and the operation relatively sophisticated.

The detective said O’Connor was from Dublin and had a very lucrative milk round but lost it.

Garda O’Sullivan said the accused suffered from depression at the time.

Gareth Fleming, defending, said the accused had certain difficulties at the time of the offence but, since then, he was back with his wife and was also doing counselling to address his problems.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a one-year sentence suspended on condition the accused would keep the peace for the next year.

The judge said the accused man volunteered admissions to the gardaí and followed this up with a plea of guilty to the offence of cultivation of cannabis without licence.

The judge also said the accused had no previous convictions. Photographs of the cannabis-growing operation taken by gardaí were furnished to the judge.


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