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Gardai are “optimistic farmers” when it comes to estimating the value of cannabis, says judge

Judge Martin Nolan
Judge Martin Nolan

A judge has said that gardai are “very optimistic farmers” when it comes to estimating the market value of cannabis plants.

Judge Martin Nolan was speaking during the sentence hearing of a Polish man who was caught growing 36 plants at his rented Dublin home.

Gardai raided the house of Marcin Jedlinski after previously stopping his car and finding 5.4kg of cannabis herb in the car boot.

Marcin Jedlinski (41) of Mill Court Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of €138,466 worth of cannabis.

Garda John McWeeney told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that the estimated street value of the cannabis herb was €109,666. He said the estimated street value of the plants crop was €28,000.

Sean Gillane SC, defending, said that this value was the peak value if all the plants were harvested but that the actual harvest was generally less than this. Judge Nolan replied: “The guards are very optimistic farmers”.

Counsel said that when his client was stopped during a routine stop he was so nervous that he could hardly speak to answer garda questions. His lip was quivering and his hand was shaking.

“He practically had guilty stamped on his head,” Mr Gillane said. There was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car and gardai found three supermarket bags containing vacuum pack bag of cannabis herb in the car boot.

The court heard that Jedlinski had been banned from driving for two years in 2015 for drunk driving.

He told gardai that he was being paid a small amount to transport the drugs. Later when they raided his home he took responsibility for the plants.

Judge Nolan imposed a sentence of three years after noting Jedlinski had co-operated fully with gardai and later pleaded guilty.

A co-accused Tomosz Adamski (39) received a suspended sentence of two years after pleading guilty to allowing the cultivation of cannabis at their shared rental accommodation in Clondalkin.