A Dublin woman found in possession of over €24,000 worth of cannabis, including two mature cannabis plants, told gardaí she was smoking the drug to alleviate her medical condition, a court has heard.
Aisling Dekker (33), of Caledon Court, East Wall, Dublin, admitted possessing cannabis for sale or supply at her home on July 28th, 2021. She further pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to cultivating cannabis at her home on the same date.
At a hearing on Thursday, Garda Stephen Flynn said Dekker was coming home from the shops with groceries when gardaí arrived at her house with a search warrant. When asked if there were any drugs in the house, Dekker produced two packages of cannabis, some of it in small plastic bags.
Gardaí searched the property, seizing the drugs and some drug-dealing paraphernalia, including weighing scales and bagging. Gda Flynn told Fergal Foley BL, prosecuting, that there was a strong smell of cannabis on entry into the house.
Gardaí also found two mature cannabis plants, with a market value of €800 each, along with a UV light and a fan in the house. The total value of the cannabis herb and plants was estimated at €24,600.
Dekker went to a Garda station by arrangement two days later and took full responsibility for the cannabis. She said she was minding the drug for someone else.
She told gardaí she was growing the plants herself as she used a cannabis derivative to alleviate joint pain caused by her auto-immune condition, urticaria.
Dekker said she had a debt for a car and other childcare costs, but that she did not have a drug debt. She has no previous convictions.
Gda Flynn agreed with Maurice Coffey SC, defending, that Dekker had not been on the garda radar prior to this offence and that he would not be worried about her reoffending in the future.
The court heard Dekker came to garda attention because of the person who had dropped drugs at her house, who had been someone of interest. Gda Flynn agreed that although Dekker had made no comment when interviewed in relation to the cannabis, she had otherwise cooperated with gardaí.
Gda Flynn also agreed that Dekker had been taken advantage of and exploited, due to certain vulnerabilities and a slight naivety. She is a stay-at-home mother of three young children.
Mr Coffey said Dekker was smoking cannabis at the time of the offence to alleviate her urticaria, which caused swelling of her joints and inflammation of the skin and throat.
The court heard Dekker’s partner of 18 years and the father of her children has recently started an apprenticeship to become an electrician.
Dekker completed her Leaving Certificate at Loreto College on St Stephen’s Green and worked afterwards as a hairdresser, a lifeguard and a barista.
Mr Coffey said his client feels “complete stupidity” that she agreed on a whim to hold the drugs for a “so-called friend” and that she has expressed genuine remorse and regret.
He said Dekker suffers from anxiety and that this offence had thrown “a huge spanner in the works” of her life, which had been going in a very positive direction.
Judge Orla Crowe ordered a probation report to be prepared and adjourned the case for finalisation to October 4th.