A man has been handed two fines of €250 each for two charges of section 15 possession of drugs with intention to sell following last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.
Darren Mears, 1 Richmond Street, Longford, arrived at court with an offer of money for the court poor box but Judge Seamus Hughes was not willing to accept, stating that the court poor box was reserved for the lesser section three possession of drugs charge.
On August 15, 2020, Mr Mears was found to be in possession of €140 of cocaine and €330 of cannabis.
“The court poor box is reserved for possession for personal use and for music festivals,” Judge Hughes explained.
“This is a very serious matter. He doesn’t fit the profile. The court doesn’t want poor box money unless it fits a certain profile of people getting involved in once-off drug dealing. But most are section 3 offences. There’s a big difference to section 15 where someone has a business on the go.”
Prosecuting Sgt Enda Daly revealed that Mr Mears had two previous convictions for drugs possession, the most recent of which was in February 2020 where he was given 140 hours of community service in lieu of one month.
Mr Mears told the court that he had done some of that community service but, due to Covid-19 was not yet able to complete it. He also told the judge that he would be willing to do further community service.
“This was a huge amount of drugs,” said Judge Hughes.
“Going to a GAA music festival to sell drugs is like selling turnips - there’s no demand for it.”
Noting the quantity of drugs, Judge Hughes asked, “Why do you want to take drugs? What does it do to you? I’m not trying to be clever. You’re a young man. I’m a lot older. I want to know what it’s like to do cannabis and cocaine.”
“It relaxes me,” Mr Mears explained.
“So cannabis relaxes you and then you take cocaine after. How do you work this one out? You relax with cannabis. Why do you take cocaine?” Judge Hughes asked.
“It sobers you up a good bit,” said Mr Mears.
“Oh it sobers you up?” said an amused Judge Hughes, “I see prison officers there who are learning something they never knew before. I certainly never knew that before. It sobers you up. Well a good slap from your mother might do the same.”
In conclusion, Judge Hughes fined Mr Mears €250 with three months to pay for possession of cannabis and €250 with three months to pay for possession of cocaine.