Man raising money for charity avoids jail over drugs

A man who had recently been given publicity for his plans to drive to China to raise funds for a children’s hospice, has been convicted of possession of drugs for sale or supply.

Man raising money for charity avoids jail over drugs

Willie Gleeson, aged 27, from Lisdoon Cottage, Ballycraggan, Puckane, Co Tipperary, was given a five-month suspended jail sentence at Nenagh District Court yesterday.

He was charged with seven counts under the Drugs Trafficking Act including, possession of cannabis; possession of cannabis for sale or supply; and possession of drug paraphernalia including weighing scales.

Gleeson pleaded guilty to possession of €900 worth of cannabis, which gardaí discovered during the search of a bedroom at a house at Ballycraggan, Puckane, in Nenagh, on March 3.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of €400 worth of cannabis herb, for sale or supply, and to having a set of weighing scales, at Mitchell St, Nenagh on March 3.

Gleeson, who was employed as a part-time window cleaner, also admitted possession of cannabis with €100 following a garda search of a house at Puckane on January 8.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of €230 worth of cannabis for sale or supply after gardaí searched a car in Nenagh on June 26, 2014. Gardaí also found a weighing scales in the car when they stopped and searched it.

A number of charges of possessing drug paraphernalia, including weighing scales, were taken into account by the court.

Solicitor Conor Delaney told the court that Gleeson would buy drugs for his own use.

He told the court that Gleeson used the weighing scales to ensure his friends received their fair share of the drugs.

Gleeson attracted media attention last March when he and two friends announced they were to drive 13,000km from Nenagh to Beijing for a friend’s wedding.

They were understood to be planning to leave next week.

During the incredible trip, the Tipperary trio were described as planning to raise funds for the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice, of which they have already secured €3,500.

The three friends, who coined a local Tipperary catchphrase, “Sure, where would you be goin’?” for their fundraising wedding journey, planned to drive through France, Italy, and Greece, before continuing on their drive through a host of war-torn regions including Syria, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, before they end up in China.

Judge Elizabeth McGrath fined Gleeson €900 and granted liberty to re-enter the suspended sentence should he reoffend over the next two years.

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