Trial of man found with €700,000 worth of cannabis nears end

The concluding stages have been reached in the trial of a man for having cannabis valued almost €700,000 in a van in boxes which he claimed he believed contained stolen footwear he was to deliver "for an easy €500".

The concluding stages have been reached in the trial of a man for having cannabis valued almost €700,000 in a van in boxes which he claimed he believed contained stolen footwear he was to deliver "for an easy €500".

David Kavanagh (aged 32) of Gerardstown Wood, Santry has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having the cannabis for sale or supply on February 16, 2005.

Closing addresses have been heard by the jury from prosecuting counsel, Mr Shane Costelloe BL, and defence counsel, Mr Diarmuid McGuinness SC (with Mr Laurence Masterson BL), on day four of the trial.

Judge Patricia Ryan will send the jury of nine women and three men out to begin deliberations when she concludes her charge in the morning.

Mr Kavanagh denied in evidence that he knew there was cannabis in the van. He told gardaí who arrested him in a surveillance operation that he agreed to handle what he believed was stolen footwear "to make a quick buck".

"It was the biggest mistake I ever made," he said when interviewed.

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