A teenager has been sentenced to nine months detention for possession and supply of drugs after a Garda raid to his home recovered almost €1,000 worth of cannabis herb and resin.
The young man, who is a minor and cannot be named, also received a five-month sentence for a separate assault in which a man was attacked twice on the street on New Year’s Day this year.
The cases came before Judge James McNulty yesterday. He heard the young man was pleading guilty to charges relating to both the assault offence and the drugs offence.
Det Garda Shannon Ryan of the West Cork Divisional Drug Unit said that last year the young man had admitted possession of a small amount of cannabis which had been seized along with his phone.
Then on a date in February this year, in the evening, gardaí with a search warrant arrived at the young man’s home. He locked himself in the bathroom and when gardaí gained entry they found wraps of cannabis herb and cannabis resin on the floor.
A search of his bedroom then turned up more cannabis resin; the drugs in total were valued at almost €1,000.
The court heard that in the presence of his mother the young man admitted possession of the drug for sale or supply.
The court heard that between the two drug incidents the teenager had also been involved in a public order episode and had repeatedly punched an innocent man on the street in the early hours of New Year’s Day in what he said was a case of mistaken identity.
In evidence he said he had been assaulted in a bar toilet earlier and that he was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis when he saw someone he thought was the assailant.
The court heard the victim suffered bruising and also lost consciousness for a time after the assault.
As for the drugs seizure at his home earlier this year the teenager said he had been holding the drugs for “so-called friends” and that when gardaí entered the premises “I panicked”.
“I was supplying to a small group of friends but that was only feeding my own habit,” he said.
He told the court he was making attempts to address his addiction issues, including through regular meetings with a counsellor.
Judge McNulty said the young man had received assistance from the court on previous occasions and now “his offending is escalating”.
“It gets to a stage where you exhaust the patience of the court and you squander the kindness of the court,” Judge McNulty said.
“When that happens it’s time for the court to assert its authority.”
He sentenced the teenager to five months on a plea of guilty for the assault and to nine months regarding the drugs offences, noting some mitigation for his guilty plea, immaturity and commitment to tackling addiction.
But he said: “The penalty should be a deterrent for him and for his customers and his friends, who should know that if they step up into his shoes and become suppliers [in the area] they will be punished.”
The teenager later lodged appeals against the severity of the sentences.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved