Court told Cork woman's cannabis was 'so rotten she couldn't give it away'

She told gardaí that she suffered from arthritis and that she found the cannabis was helpful for the condition.
Court told Cork woman's cannabis was 'so rotten she couldn't give it away'

Avril Smith pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possession of €27,000 worth of cannabis herb and to cultivating 33 mature cannabis plants. File image

A Mallow woman made such a bad effort at growing cannabis, the investigating officer said it was so rotten she couldn’t have given away if she had wanted.

Detective Garda William Hosford of the Mallow District Drugs Squad testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that they found 33 plants and some herb at the house when they arrived to conduct a search under warrant.

Avril Smith, 46, told gardaí that the cannabis herb she grew at her home began to rot. The detective said it looked off-colour and had to be examined twice to make sure that it even was cannabis.

Det. Garda Hosford, said the accused told gardaí that she could not give it away and could not smoke it herself, it was so rotten.

Initially, the 46-year-old set up a cannabis growhouse in order to produce cannabis to make cannabis oil for her arthritis.

Avril Smith pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possession of €27,000 worth of cannabis herb and to cultivating 33 mature cannabis plants with a street value of €26,000 at a house at Ballyviniter Lower in Mallow on November 19, 2018.

As soon as gardaí raided the house on the day, Smith took full responsibility for both when questioned about them.

She told gardaí that she suffered from arthritis and that she found the cannabis was helpful for the condition and that her plan was to turn the drug into cannabis oil to treat her arthritis and she went through the entire oil production process with gardaí.

Det. Garda Hosford said that Smith was upfront and honest with gardaí from the outset about the drugs and they found no evidence of any of the other equipment such as weighing scales or packing equipment associated with drug dealing.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain said he accepted the garda evidence regarding their belief that Smith was not involved in drug dealing and he noted that the harvested drugs found on the premises had passed their sell-by date.

He said in all the circumstances, including Smith’s guilty plea and the fact she had no relevant previous convictions, he believed a deterrent sentence rather than a custodial sentence was appropriate and he gave her a two-year suspended sentence.

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