Man turned to dealing drugs to pay for back pain care

A middle-aged man with no health insurance who was worried about the treatment of his chronic back pain resorted to dealing drugs to pay for medical care.

He was given a suspended six-year sentence yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for having over €40,000 worth of drugs at his home.

Det Garda Seán Minihan said gardaí from Douglas station went to the home of Andrzej Lewandowski of Dunvale Crescent, Frankfield, Cork, with a search warrant and found 11 deals of cannabis on the kitchen table. They then brought in a sniffer dog to assist.

Cannabis and cash were found hidden under kitchen units. A further quantity of ecstasy tablets was found in a deep freezer chest. The total value of the drugs was over €41,223. The cash under the floorboards amounted to over €9,000.

The detective said that when arrested, the defendant told gardaí he had no money or health insurance and had decided to get involved in this.

Eamonn Maloney, solicitor, indicated recently at Cork District Court that Lewandowski was entering a signed plea of guilty. He was sent forward for sentencing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Brendan Kelly, defence barrister, said his client was quite co-operative with gardaí and he remained in constant contact while awaiting the case. Mr Kelly stressed the absence of previous convictions and said he had reformed himself in so far as his addiction issues were concerned.

Det Garda Minihane accepted the defence proposition that Lewandowski was highly unlikely to re-offend and had a very small part in the drugs scene.

Judge Patrick J Moran referred to Lewandowski’s contention that he believed that he would have to pay for surgery related to a chronic back condition but had no health insurance and no money to pay for it.

Initially, Lewandowski, aged 53, said he agreed to store the drugs for a certain payment and later agreed to sell them for a higher payment.

Judge Moran said he could depart from the provisions for a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 years due to the exceptional circumstances in the case.


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