Man jailed after 'strong smell of cannabis' led Gardaí to growhouse in Cork village

Man jailed after 'strong smell of cannabis' led Gardaí to growhouse in Cork village
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A horrendous smell of cannabis herb raised the suspicions of gardaí when they were visiting an apartment block to investigate an incident that had nothing to do with drugs and yesterday the culprit was jailed for operating a grow-house.

Gardaí were investigating a completely unrelated driving incident when they called to an apartment. While at the door they got the smell of the illegal drug from the neighbouring flat.

A search warrant was obtained and they returned very quickly to carry out the search and seize over €22,000 worth of cannabis.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a two-year sentence with the second year suspended in the case against Lukasz Kubiak, 34, who lives at Maple Woods, Ballinacurra, Midleton, County Cork. 

He pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis at an apartment at Kilta View, Main Street, Castlemartyr, on September 23 2017.

The judge said he was concerned about a drug possession conviction the accused got while awaiting sentence for this large seizure.

“Having fooled the probation service that he is a wonderful lad he gets a conviction for drugs,” the judge said yesterday.

Paula McCarthy, defence barrister said the accused had a drugs debt and resorted to growing the cannabis in order to clear the debt.

Judge Ó Donnabháin accepted the defence submission that the plea of guilty was of significance given that the accused was not residing at the flat where he was operating the grow house and he was not present there when the gardaí discovered it.

Detective Sergeant Seán Leahy testified previously the guards were investigating a hit and run car accident at the time when they entered the apartment complex.

“On entering in the hall the gardaí got a strong smell of cannabis from one apartment. They left and got a warrant. They came back and carried out a search.

“They found a disused grow-house. Also cannabis was found in a small bathroom,” Det. Sgt. Leahy said.

While no one was present at the time, Kubiac contacted his solicitor as soon as he became aware of the garda search and he made an appointment to meet gardaí so that he could be formally arrested and questioned.

When questioned he admitted cultivation of cannabis in the apartment.

The Polish man is married to an Irish woman and he had no convictions of any kind. The judge was told that the defendant’s wife had no knowledge of her husband’s drug-related activity.

Defence senior counsel Tom Creed previously said it was the horrendous smell of cannabis that put gardaí on to the accused and not anything else.

The senior counsel said the defendant’s position was that, “People were coming over, doing the heavy with him. He was to grow it and hold to it for them to clear a debt.” 

The sentence was backdated to November 2019 as the accused had been remanded in custody since then.

Ms McCarthy BL said, “He realises the error of his ways. His partner would not have been aware he was involved in this activity.”

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