Offaly man found twice with drugs accused of 'selling misery'
TULLAMORE District Court was told a man who had been in foster care when he was a child now suffered mental health difficulties and was self medicating with cannabis.
Francis Sherlock, 30, of 43 Glendaniel, Tullamore, admitted having cannabis herb for sale or supply at Henry Apartments, Church Street, Clara on June 12 last year.
Mr Sherlock also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis herb at 43 Glendaniel on February 15 last.
Sergeant James O'Sullivan said 16 grams of cannabis worth €260, weighing scales and a mobile phone were found when the premises at Church Street in Clara was searched.
When a search took place at 43 Glendaniel on February 15 this year €20 of cannabis was found, said to be for Mr Sherlock's own use.
Judge Mary Cashin was told the accused had several previous convictions for drug possession offences dating back to 2011 and in June 2016 he had been put on probation for 12 months for drug supply.
Fines of €100, €150 and €200 had been imposed on him for possessing drugs.
Defence counsel Suzanne Dooner, BL, outlined Mr Sherlock's history to the court, saying his father had been a man who was heavily involved in criminality.
The defendant had been put in foster care in Offaly in 1998 and was now addicted to cannabis which he used as self medication for his mental health difficulties.
Ms Dooner said the accused had written a letter for the court which set out his circumstances.
He had just been released from psychiatric care at St Fintan's and was now trying to put his life back in order. He was in receipt of a disability payment but had brought €300 to court as a contribution and he asked for the matter to be adjourned so he could engage with the probation services.
After reading Mr Sherlock's letter, Judge Cashin said it did not deal with the offence of possessing drugs for sale or supply to others but rather was about his dealings with the gardai.
“His life may be difficult but he's certainly selling misery to other people and this court won't tolerate that,” said Judge Cashin.
When Ms Dooner said it had been five years since Mr Sherlock's last conviction, Judge Cashin told her there was no evidence the accused had not been engaging in drug related activities since then and she reminded him that he had been convicted of a drug supply offence before.
She repeated that she was not impressed by his letter to the court and said his concern was his behaviour towards the gardai.
Ms Dooner asked that her client be given credit for his guilty plea and she said he had engaged with the mental health services in Portlaoise, having been in St Fintan's for two weeks.
She said he will also engage with the Community Alcohol and Drugs Support Service.
Ms Dooner added that after his release from St Fintan's he had been left with no supports.
Mr Sherlock, who had previously been in custody for other offences, told the court himself that he did not want to go back to jail.
Judge Cashin adjourned sentence for a probation report and said she was concerned that Mr Sherlock had progressed from possession of drugs for his own use to the sale and supply of drugs to others.
She said the court could not be lenient if that continued.
Mr Sherlock was remanded on continuing bail to July 7 next for the report and Judge Cashin warned him to stay out of trouble before then.