File pic of cannabis
A one-year suspended prison sentence was handed down to a man who admitted cultivating cannabis plants in his home at the last sitting of Kilkenny Circuit Court.
Leo West, Ballygurteen, Castlewarren admitted the offence which took place on October 19, 2016. On the date in question gardai obtained a search warrant for the property at Ballygurteen, Castlewarren and found four cylinders of medical gas, which were unused, and had been stolen from St Luke’s Hospital.
The court heard that the defendant was arrested and co- operated fully with gardaí.
“He said that the plants were for his own use and that it was cheaper to grow them himself than to buy it for medicinal use. At the time he worked at St Luke’s Hospital as a maintenance man.
The defendant is 47 years of age and has two children.
His counsel told the court that his client was ‘very embarassed and had been previously been a role model in his childrens’ eyes’.
He was employed at St Luke’s Hospital for over 15 years and his family have worked there for fifty years. The court heard that he is ‘very ashamed’ for his actions and wishes to apologise to his employer.
His counsel outlined how his client was involved in an accident and had sustained nerve damage. Subsequent to that he had two surgeries and ‘unfortunately decided on this course of action’.
“He apologises unreservedly to his family - his actions were uncharacteristic,” his counsel added.
Judge Patrick Meghen said that the main penalty for the defendant was ‘the loss of esteem in the eyes of his children of whom he is obviously very proud’.
“I want to make sure that he remains drug free,”he said ordering that the defendant undergo medical tests every three months for 18 months. He also imposed a one-year sentence which he suspended for 18 months.