Man who fled after his girlfriend overdosed is jailed for possession of €82k of cannabis

Greg Ward
Greg Ward

A man who was caught with €82,000 worth of cannabis after his friend overdosed in his bedsit has been jailed for three years.

Greg Ward (32) of Hill Crest Drive, Lucan,Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at his home on May 3, 2015.

Sergeant Damien Gannon told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, Ward phoned for an ambulance after the woman overdosed. She was taken to hospital and gardaí were alerted.

Ward handed over the bedsit keys to gardaí at the hospital as they wanted to preserve the scene for technical examination. They searched the bedsit and found cannabis resin under his bed.

There were 148 slabs of cannabis weighing over 13 kilograms recovered with an estimated street value of €82,939.

Ward, who has no previous convictions, was arrested and told gardaí he was getting free heroin to feed his long standing addiction in return for storing the cannabis.

Sgt Gannon said Ward was very forthcoming with gardaí, that he was a very educated man and his own family were urging him to rehabilitate.

Sgt Gannon agreed with Bernard Condon SC, defending, that Ward was injecting himself with heroin six or seven times daily at that stage. He agreed Ward would have been in genuine fear of those for whom he was storing the drugs.

He agreed that Ward had a good upbringing and this was a “quite unusual” case.

Judge Melanie Greally said that at the time of arrest Ward stated he was coerced as a result of a drug debt to hold the drugs and he was given a supply of heroin for doing this.

She accepted the accused had no role in either selling or supplying the drugs and that he was under pressure at the time.

"He has adopted a positive approach to the situation and all of the indicators are that he is genuinely sorry. He is someone who pleaded guilty at an early stage," she said.

The judge sentenced Ward to four years in jail with the final twelve months suspended for two years. She backdated the sentence until the date he went into custody on June 4 2015.