A CORK man’s heroin habit was so chronic that his solicitor wondered how the man was even alive.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, made this observation at Cork District Court in respect of 39-year-old James Walsh, of 3 The Gate Lodge, Cois Coille, Tivoli, Cork, who faced sentencing for assaulting another man in Cork City.
“He has a pretty significant heroin addiction. He describes to me a level of heroin usage and I don’t know how he is alive, to be honest,” Mr Buttimer said.
He said it was a terribly intensive habit that had been going on down through the years.
However, the defendant had managed to reduce it considerably, while not cutting it out completely.
“He now takes it once or twice a week,” Mr Buttimer said.
Judge Olann Kelleher said the probation service are very impressed with the efforts made by the accused. The judge said the defendant was very honest with the probation service admitting that he tops up his methadone with two deals of heroin a week.
Mr Buttimer said the defendant’s aim is to get off heroin completely.
“As Mr Walsh said himself, ‘My body is telling me to stop’. He comes across as a contrite person who has a desire to make a more positive contribution to society,” Mr Buttimer said.
The defendant then said to the judge: “I just want to apologise.” Judge Kelleher said: “Don’t apologise to me — it is yourself you are putting in difficulty.”
The judge noted again that “the probation service have a lot of time for you” and he imposed a five-month sentence which he suspended on condition that the accused would keep the peace for the next two years.
Sergeant John Kelleher said that on August 19, 2021, at South Mall, Cork, the defendant assaulted another man by punching him twice in the head.