Cork horticulturist gets suspended term for growing drug

"It was a sophisticated grow-house used for the cultivation of cannabis." 
Cork horticulturist gets suspended term for growing drug

Detective Garda Dave Barry said the accused had a previous conviction from 2016 of having cannabis for sale or supply for which he got a one-year suspended term. File image 

A horticulturalist used his skills illicitly to grow cannabis at his home in Rathcormac and now he has been given a four-year suspended jail term.

Conor Jones, aged 35, was sentenced by Judge Dara Hayes at Cork Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and cocaine for his own use, and most seriously, of cultivating cannabis at his home at Old National School, Kildinan, Rathcormac, Co Cork, on November 7, 2020.

Detective Garda Dave Barry said the accused had a previous conviction from 2016 of having cannabis for sale or supply for which he got a one-year suspended term.

Judge Hayes said to Mr Jones in regard to that earlier suspended jail term- 

“You were given an opportunity previously and you did not take it. You should take this one.”

The judge took into consideration the fact that the accused had not come to any further adverse attention since his home was searched in November 2020. 

However, the judge did comment on the nature of the cultivation that was taking place at the time of that search: “This was a sophisticated operation. 

"The accused’s horticultural training was put to illicit use.

“It happened a short number of years after the expiry of a suspended sentence for a similar offence. 

"It was a sophisticated grow-house used for the cultivation of cannabis. 

"He has been in longstanding employment. He has returned to education. He is dealing with his addiction and giving clean urines for the past two months.

“He clearly did not learn his lesson in 2016. However, he has now. He learned belatedly. He should have done so in 2016. To his credit he is now taking steps. To encourage him I will suspend entirely a sentence of four years on condition that he is of good behaviour for four years, that he places himself under the supervision of the probation service for 18 months, whether it is for addiction counselling or otherwise, and for continuing urinalysis at his own expense and that he abstain from illegal drugs.”

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