Resident had no knowledge of heroin found in hanging basket

Judge dismisses charges after garda told court he had found 36 deals of the drug in a flower basket at the rear of man's house
Resident had no knowledge of heroin found in hanging basket

Both charges against Hicham Settini — of possession and dealing heroin — were dismissed at Cork District Court. File picture

A hanging flower basket at the rear of a house in Cork City was used to stash 36 separate deals of heroin that were uncovered when gardaí were dealing with another matter.

Garda Eric Brannigan testified at Cork District Court that he was present at the house at Broad Lane, Great William O'Brien St, Cork, when he made the discovery.

52-year-old Hicham Settini, who lives at that address, denied charges of owning the heroin (Diamorphine) or having the illegal drug for the purpose of sale or supply to others.

Questioned after the seizure of drugs, he was asked: “Are you involved in the sale or supply of heroin in Cork city?”

He replied: “No.” 

Garda Brannigan said to the accused: “I found a plastic bag in a flower basket outside your bedroom at the back — 36 individual wraps of a brown substance. What is it?” 

Mr Settini replied: “I don’t know, it’s not mine.” 

“Why are there 36 wraps of heroin in your house?” he was asked, and he replied: “I don’t know.” 

'Not one iota of a shred of evidence'

Garda Brannigan said to the accused on the occasion of the search: “This phone has been ringing a lot — is it people looking for drugs?” Again he replied: “No.” 

Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said there were absolutely no drugs convictions against the accused and that gardaí found these drugs when they were present on the property in connection with an unrelated matter.

Mr Kelleher argued in the case before Judge Marian O’Leary that another person who has access to the house was previously convicted for drug use.

“There is not one iota of a shred of evidence in relation to DNA, fingerprints, weighing scales, tick-lists, text messages, or anything to link him to these drugs,” Mr Kelleher said.

Judge O’Leary concluded at the end of the case: “There is no reasonable way I could convict. So I dismiss.” 

Mr Settini had both charges — possession and dealing — dismissed at Cork District Court.

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