NewsCrime Desk

Gardai told to keep 'bleach preacher’s' weed alive

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Paddy Merlehan
Paddy Merlehan

GARDAI HAVE been directed to preserve four cannabis plants belonging to ‘Bleacher Preacher’ Patrick Merlehan, as he appeals a €500 fine for possession of an illegal substance.

Merlehan, who the Sunday World exposed last October as the Irish head of a controversial church advocating the use of bleach to treat children with autism, previously outlined to the court how he resented the plants being called drugs as “they are God’s plants”.

Merlehan’s Genesis II Church promotes its ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ (MMS) as a cure for all ailments, including cancer and autism.

The substance is in fact a 28 per cent concentrated solution of sodium chlorite, which, when mixed with water, becomes chlorine dioxide, which is similar to bleach.

Merlehan, of The Hamlet, Newtown, Moone, appeared again before Judge Desmond Zaidan last week for sentencing on charges of possession of unauthorised firearms and drugs.

The charges arose from a search of the property carried out by Health Products Regulatory Authority enforcement officer Alan Smullen on November 6, 2014, in relation to complaints about the manufacture of medicinal products.

Merlehan was previously fined €4,000 on charges relating to manufacturing and marketing “highly toxic industrial bleach” as a cure for autism.

In a separate case relating to the discovery of guns and cannabis plants arising out of that search, Garda Seamus Muldowney, from Castledermot Garda Station, had told the court how in one bedroom he found two cannabis plants by the window and two more plants in a sun-room to the front of the property.

“They were 80 per cent from full maturity, about 4ft high,” he said.

He added that if fully harvested they would each have been worth €500 each.

During the course of the search, four firearms, two of which were unlicensed, were also recovered.

The guns were produced as evidence and were described as being from the 1920s.

The court heard that they had undergone forensic examination and were found to be capable of discharge.

Having read the probation officer’s report on Merlehan, it was remarked that he is “a 69-year-old gentleman who is assessed as being at low risk of re-offending over the next 12 months.”

During the hearing Merlehan presented Judge Zaidan with a pair of sunglasses he claimed dated from the 1920s, which he said the judge should use to suppress “an abundance of information from the world around him”.

Judge Zaidan immediately passed the glasses on to the probation officer.

Judge Zaidan convicted Merlehan, who chose to represent himself, of possession of an illegal substance and possession of unauthorised firearms, fining him €500 in relation to each.

He requested that Gardaí hand the guns over to a museum before requesting Merlehan’s cannabis plants not be destroyed until after his appeal is heard.

Records show that Merlehan – who is a director of Ark Recycling in Newtown – charged €400 a pop to train people in the use of highly questionable and dangerous use of his Miracle Mineral Solution in 2014.