herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Soldier got cannabis 'to help his dying wife'

A DUBLIN army corporal who told gardai he bought cannabis to ease the pain of his dying wife will be sentenced later this month.

Corporal Damian Flood (39) was caught with €9,814 worth of cannabis herb near Nutgrove in Dublin on March 15 last year.

On arrest, the widowed father-of-two initially told gardai he was moving the drugs to pay off a debt of €40,000.

However, he later confessed to buying the drugs after online research showed him juiced cannabis added to food could act as a pain reliever.

Flood told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that he wanted to ease the suffering of his wife, who was terminally ill with breast cancer. She died five months later, on August 26 last year.

Flood, with an address at Scribblestown Avenue, Finglas, pleaded guilty to possessing the drug for sale or supply.

He apologised to the court, saying he was "embarrassed" even to be there.

The court heard Flood has served 18 years with the Defence Forces, including several overseas postings, and is three years from retirement.

Detective Garda Colin Tighe told Melanie Greally BL, prosecuting, that gardai stopped a car they saw driving erratically in the Rathfarnham area.

Gardai found a vacuum packed bag containing cannabis herb in the car boot.

Lorcan Staines BL, defending, said Flood has no previous convictions, cooperated with gardai and was genuinely remorseful.

lied

Flood said he initially lied to the gardai that he was moving the drugs to pay off a debt because he didn't want to implicate his dying wife in his arrest.

Mr Staines said that if Flood gets a prison sentence, he will be immediately discharged from the army.

If he gets a suspended sentence, it will be up to the General Army Commander to decide but it is "likely" he will be discharged, counsel said.

Mr Staines asked the court to impose a fine below €381, which would not affect Flood's military conduct.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring remanded Flood on continuing bail for sentencing later in July.

hnews@herald.ie

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