Gardaí discovered €600 worth of cocaine and a small quantity of cannabis when they searched the home of a 28-year-old Boherlahan man earlier this year, Cashel District Court was told.
The cocaine was found in the second of two search warrants gardaí executed in the space of five months at the home of father-of-two Thomas Croke at 11 The Crescent, Boherlahan.
Mr Croke pleaded guilty at last week’s sitting of Cashel Court to having cocaine at his home for the purpose of selling or supplying the drug to others on February 13 this year and to possessing €30 worth of cannabis at his home on the same date.
He also pleaded guilty to to possessing approximately €50 worth of cannabis at his home on September 18, 2019.
Mr Croke also admitted at the court to driving without insurance cover or a driving licence at Boherlahan, Cashel on July 3.
Sgt Carol O'Leary told the court Mr Croke co-operated with gardaí on both occasions they searched his house.
She said he volunteered he had no insurance or a driving licence when Garda Declan Corrigan stopped him driving at 9pm on July 3 and demanded he produce his insurance and driving licence to a Garda station within 10 days.
He had one previous conviction for drug possession imposed in 2012, the sergeant added.
Solicitor Colin Morrissey said his client apologised to the court for his criminal behaviour. He explained that Mr Croke had a serious cocaine addiction and fell into debt and might have got deeper into trouble and debt if he hadn’t used this prosecution as an opportunity to change.
Mr Morrissey pointed out that Mr Croke was no longer taking cocaine and was engaging with a drug addiction counsellor.
He was also now working part-time doing maintenance work at a hotel and there was a prospect of full-time work depending on how the economy recovered.
In relation to the driving offences, the solicitor explained that his client drove his partner’s vehicle less than a kilometre to his parents’ house.
He was driving back when he was stopped. Mr Morrissey said his client should have walked to his parents’ home.
Judge Finn noted that the first intervention of the gardaí with Mr Croke didn’t appear to alter his mindset.
It took a second intervention in February to affect a change in his attitude to drugs.
What worried him greatly in both cases was that two search warrants were executed at his home where his partner and two children lived. They had to suffer the intrusion of gardaí into their home.
Mr Morrissey responded that Mr Croke’s partner had made it quite clear to him that he was on “very thin ice”.
Judge Finn imposed a €300 fine and two year driving licence ban on Mr Croke for the driving without insurance offence and marked the driving without a licence offence proven and taken into account.
In relation to the drugs offences, the judge requested a Probation Service report assessing Mr Croke’s suitability to do community service and adjourned the case to Cashel District Court sitting on February 11 next year for production of the report.