A Nigerian man caught with cannabis with an estimated street value of €20,000 told gardaí it was a completely different type of material to normal cannabis and that he was using it to make soup.
Eddy Osagie, 50, was caught with two packets of the paste-like material in a cereal box inside another bag in his car when it was stopped by gardaí.
Garda William Hosford said the offence came to light due to the smell of cannabis coming from the car.
“Two packets were found in cereal boxes in the car,” Garda Hosford said.
The cannabis weighed over a kilo and the garda valuation for the drug was put at €20,000.
“Osagie was arrested and made certain admissions. He said he had it for medical needs and used to use it for making soup,” Garda Hosford said.
The 50-year-old from Nigeria has been living in Ireland since 2003. He had no previous convictions for drugs offences.
Elizabeth O’Connell defence senior counsel said, “What the guards found was a type of paste. It was unusual. It was quite a squashed together package. It was not the normal cannabis.
“He was very forthcoming. It is an African concoction. It was mixed with beans. He used to put it in food.”
He used to smoke some of the cannabis, Ms O’Connell SC added. She said this was out of character and there was nothing like this in his past.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a jail term of two years with the last year suspended.
“It was very knowingly done and with a curious sense of entitlement that he had it for medicine slash food value slash ‘this is what I do’.
“He had no previous convictions for crimes of this sort. Had he arrived with a urinalysis which this case was crying out for – and he had that option – that he and others would have been acutely aware to him and others that it would progress his case.”
Because the car was used to carry the drug, Judge Ó Donnabháin also disqualified the man from driving for four years.