Drug dealer jailed after failing to persuade Cork judge cannabis was for pain relief

Mark Brown was found with over €20,000 worth of cannabis herb, over €8,000 worth of cannabis resin and almost €2,000 worth of cocaine.
Drug dealer jailed after failing to persuade Cork judge cannabis was for pain relief

Mark Brown has a serious back injury from childhood and claimed he was using the cannabis as pain relief. File photo: Getty

A man with a serious back injury from childhood told Cork gardaí who caught him with over €30,000 worth of drugs that he was using cannabis for pain relief, but the sentencing judge believed this excuse was a being put up as a cover for dealing.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a six-year sentence on 46-year-old Mark Brown and suspended the last year of that sentence.

Defence barrister Brendan Kelly asked the judge to consider suspending more of the sentence and said the defendant had a genuine back injury which he sustained in a childhood accident.

The judge said he did not in any way dispute the fact that Mark Brown had this accident and ongoing back trouble. However, he said there was no evidence to support the view that the defendant had done everything possible through orthodox medical treatment for pain relief and that it was only after trying everything else that he had resorted to cannabis.

Judge Ó Donnabháin also said that it did not explain why he had the large quantity of cannabis with which he was found and that this could not have been for personal use only. Furthermore the judge noted that among the stash of cannabis was a smaller stash of cocaine and there was no way that could have been associated with pain relief.

The judge said:

I don’t doubt it is there but I think he is using it as a cover for dealing in drugs.

46-year-old Brown pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to being in possession of a combination of cannabis and cocaine at a time when their total street value exceeded €13,000.

The crime was committed on March 1, 2019, at his home at 75 Great William O’Brien Street, Cork.

Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan said Brown was stopped on the street on that date and found to have just under €500 worth of cannabis herb and resin, and cocaine. In a follow-up search of his home he had over €30,000 worth of the same drugs.

The breakdown was over €20,000 worth of cannabis herb, over €8,000 worth of cannabis resin and under €2,000 worth of cocaine.

“Interviewed in Mayfield garda station he admitted having drugs for sale or supply around the city. Living in the city for a long time he is originally from Kildare.

“Prior to his incident he was a person of interest as someone supplying drugs around Blackpool,” Det. Sgt. O’Sullivan said.

Brendan Kelly BL asked for a minimal time in prison to be imposed, saying the accused had not come to adverse garda attention for two years.

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