Dad caught with €16k worth of cannabis given suspended sentence

John Behan. Picture © Collins
John Behan. Picture © Collins

A Dublin father-of-one who told gardai he had €16,600 of cannabis herb to help him out financially after he lost his job has received a four-year suspended sentence.

Garda Michael McNulty agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that there was indication that some of the product John Behan (40) had for sale was “substandard”.

Behan, of Rafters Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing 830 grammes of cannabis worth a potential €16,600 at his former Landon Road home in Ballyfermot on September 21, 2014. He has 17 previous convictions for minor road traffic offences.

Gda McNulty told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, that he went to the Landon Road address with a search warrant on foot of confidential information.

He and colleagues found the cannabis in six containers in the shed and in a bin at the front of the house.

Behan, who now has a job at Intel, said he had the drugs for personal use and to sell if he was in financial difficulty.

John Behan 

Gda McNulty told Mr Barnes that €16,600 was the total potential street value of the drug, but he couldn't say whether the plants used had been male or female.

Mr Rea submitted to Judge Melanie Greally that it was to his client's shame that he was before the court and that the operation he had involved himself in was “not the most professional”.

Judge Greally accepted that the street value could have been “somewhat in excess” of what it was actually worth.

She took into account that Behan has not come to garda attention since and had now secured employment.

She added that custody was not necessary in this case and suspended the four year sentence for three years.