A man who began smoking €40,000 of cannabis he found in a parcel after the intended recipient failed to retrieve it has avoided a jail term.
Teslim Bolarinwa (34), of North Circular Road, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having cannabis for sale or supply at a location in Co Dublin on January 17, 2019.
Judge Martin Nolan said Bolarinwa had been imposed upon by a third party to take delivery of a package and when it arrived, Bolarinwa and another man opened it and discovered the drugs.
He said it seemed the third party did not retrieve the package and Bolarinwa and another man proceeded to use the cannabis for about a month until the gardaí showed up.
Judge Nolan said Bolarinwa's role was unclear. He noted there was no evidence he had intended to give it to anyone and if the owner had arrived he would have acquiesced but smoking the cannabis was his reward.
He said Bolarinwa's culpability was quite low and took into account his guilty plea, cooperation and lack of any previous record. He said these were “unique circumstances” and he was unlikely to reoffend.
Judge Nolan said he had dealt with many drugs cases and this was “highly unusual” and it seemed all the defendant wanted to do was smoke-free cannabis.
He said in all probability it would be unjust to imprison him and imposed a three-year suspended sentence.
The prosecuting garda told Fergal Foley BL, prosecuting, that when gardai investigating the suspect parcel arrived at the address Bolarinwa and another man were sharing at the time, they located 2.2 kilograms of cannabis valued at €44,000. Bolarinwa accepted his own role.
Dominic McGinn SC, defending, said Bolarinwa came here from Nigeria with his parents and has worked throughout his adult life.
He asked the court to look at the facts of the case, submitting the amount of drugs involved was in the lower bracket and the supplying was limited to Bolarinwa and the other man sharing it.
Mr McGinn said it was a wholly exceptional case, Bolarinwa had not been harming anyone else with his actions and had learned a salutary lesson.