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Garda helped cannabis user get into treatment

A GARDA who stopped a driver and found €800 worth of cannabis herb in his car later helped him to get onto a drug treatment programme, a court heard.

Gary Maloney (31) claimed he had bought the drug in bulk because it was better value.

He said he was grateful to Garda Derek Doyle, who arrested and charged him but later helped him get onto a treatment programme.

Maloney, a sale representative and former electrician, said he is now completely drug free.

Judge John Lindsay ordered Maloney to donate €600 to charity and said he'd strike out the matter.

The defendant, of Russell Rise in Tallaght, admitted before Tallaght District Court to possession of cannabis herb at Fortunestown Lane in Tallaght on October 19, 2013.

Gda Doyle said he was operating a mandatory alcohol testing checkpoint when a grey Ford Transit approached shortly before 9pm.

Gda Doyle said he got a strong smell of cannabis from the car, and Maloney handed over a bag of plant material.

Maloney later told gardai that a second bag and a weighing scales were under the passenger seat.

The street value of the drug was €816.

Gda Doyle said Maloney admitted the cannabis herb was for his own use. He claimed he had bought it in bulk because it was better value.

Defence lawyer Gabby Deane said Maloney, a father of one, had a serious problem with cannabis at the time he was stopped, and was spending a lot of money feeding his habit.

She also said this incident was "a wake-up call" for Maloney, who was helped by Gda Doyle get onto Jobstown Assisting Drug Dependency (JADD).

Ms Deane said Maloney is attending Narcotics Anonymous and is now drug free.

Judge Lindsay ordered Maloney to donate €400 to JADD and €200 to Crumlin Children's Hospital.