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Monday 15 October 2018

Man had €350 of cannabis 'to numb pain of knee injury'

Getting caught was a ‘wake-up call’ for Darren Flanagan (29)
Getting caught was a ‘wake-up call’ for Darren Flanagan (29)

A man who dislocated his knee and started self-medicating the painful injury with cannabis became addicted to the drug, a court has heard.

Darren Flanagan (29) was caught with €350 of cannabis, which he claimed was for his own use because of his heavy addiction.

However, he said that getting caught was a "wake-up call" for him and he was now drug-free, having attended treatment and counselling, Swords District Court heard.

Judge Dermot Dempsey struck out the charges after €1,000 was donated to the Aiseiri Rehabilitation Centre.

The defendant, of Cardy Rock Avenue, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and having the drug for sale or supply at Rathingle Road, Swords, on April 19, 2017.

He had no previous convictions, the court heard.

The defendant was stopped by a garda as he was acting in a suspicious manner. He and his car were searched and gardai located the drug, the court heard.

Addicted

He made admissions and signed the garda's notebook.

Flanagan became addicted to cannabis after he dislocated his knee, his solicitor said.

"He was managing his pain with cannabis," the solicitor added, explaining that the defendant had a difficult background but had sought to better himself.

He worked as an IT technician, the court heard.

"The sale and supply issue was that he was sharing the drug among his friends and he bought the drug for his own use as he had quite a heavy cannabis addiction," the solicitor said.

"It was a wake-up call and he went for help as he realised things had to change in his life."

He explained the defendant had a hobby with Fingal Living History Society where he took part in re-enactments of historical events.

"He has a trip to Boston coming up and it's a tall order to leave him without a conviction but he is dealing with matters," the solicitor said.

After a reference from his employer, a clear urinalysis and a €1,000 charitable donation were handed in to court, Judge Dempsey agreed to strike the case out.

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