Man jumped out window when gardai discovered cannabis grow house

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment
He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment

A Chinese national who jumped out a window two floors up after being caught cultivating cannabis in a Dublin city centre apartment has had an appeal against sentence dismissed

Nianje He (35), with an address at Stafford House, Wolf Tone Street, Dublin 1, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully cultivating cannabis at his premises on May 8, 2014.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment by Judge Martin Nolan on November 20, 2015.

Dismissing an appeal against sentence today, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said 126 cannabis plants were found in the apartment at various stages of cultivation. The plants had a potential value of €108,000.

Garda Seamus Donoghue had given evidence that upon entering the premises, where there was a strong smell of cannabis, a colleague noticed an open kitchen window and saw He on the ground two floors below.

Mr Justice Sheehan said He became involved in the offence to discharge a gambling debt. When the plants were harvested, he expected to receive €10,000 but most of this would be used to discharge his debts.

He committed a further cultivation offence in Galway while on bail for the Dublin offence

Mr Justice Sheehan said He had lent himself to a serious commercial operation and the fact he did so because of gambling debts was not an excuse.

The Court of Appeal did not consider the sentence imposed to be excessive.

Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, dismissed the appeal with “one qualification” that He be given credit for six weeks spent in custody solely in respect of this offence.

by Ruaidhrí Giblin