A man claimed he bought “Bonsai cannabis trees” on Amazon without realising they were illegal and now he has been convicted of possession, cultivation and having the drug for sale or supply.
Gardaí arrived at the home of Raphael Vinicius to carry out a search for suspected drugs under warrant at College View, College Road, Cork, on March 21 2021.
Inspector Mark Keating said gardaí went to that property on that date and carried out the search during which cannabis – including Bonsai cannabis trees – was located to an estimated street value of €3,500 and cash in the sum of €600.
Diane Hallahan, defence solicitor, said the accused man was prepared to plead guilty to the charge of having cannabis for his own personal use but not to the cultivation or supply charges.
Judge Marian O’Leary said the case had passed that stage as the matter was previously listed for hearing and the accused failed to appear. The prosecution evidence was given, the accused was convicted and a warrant was issued for his arrest for him to be brought to court for sentencing.
Ms Hallahan said, “While he accepts Section 3 (possession) he does not accept responsibility (for supply and cultivation). He came from Brazil to Ireland.
"He was using cannabis very heavily, especially during Covid. He is now working. He doesn’t have anything to do with drugs now and he distanced himself from a particular peer group.
Judge O’Leary replied, “Well they were… His only option is to go to the circuit court and appeal it. He should have been here (when the case was listed for hearing). I have already found him guilty.”
Judge O’Leary Raphael Vinicius €750 for having the drugs for sale or supply, €300 for cultivation and another €300 for having it for his own use. The judge said she would set recognisances in the defendant’s own bond of €300 for an appeal.