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Café owner who grew cannabis to ease back pain given 240 hours community service

The man was ordered to carry out the community service within a year in lieu of a two year jail term.

Image: Cannabis image via Shutterstock

A CAFE OWNER who grew cannabis to ease back pain has been ordered to carry out 240 hours community service.

Marcin Malinski (35) was stopped during a routine garda checkpoint when officers noted a strong smell of cannabis coming from the BMW he was driving.

A bag of cannabis plant cut-offs was found in the back of the car and Malinski and his passenger were taken in for questioning.

A follow-up search of the home Malinski shared with his fiancée, led to the discovery of a cannabis grow house. The gardaí found 17 cannabis plants at various stages of maturity.

Garda Niall Carolan told Fionnuala O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that the estimated street value of the drugs, should they reach full maturity, was €13,600.

Malinski of Boroimhe Hazel, Swords, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply on 29 October, 2015. He has no previous convictions.

Malinski told gardaí in an interview that he had been living in Ireland for eight years and had been earning €200 per week on a JobBridge scheme.

He said he had been growing the cannabis for himself to ease back pain but admitted that he knew it was illegal to grow the drug.

Garda Carolan agreed with Garnet Orange SC, defending, that his client claimed he used lower strength cannabis to help with his pain and the standard of the cannabis cuttings found in his car was consistent with this claim.

He accepted that Malinski was co-operative and explained to gardaí immediately that he was growing the drug for medicinal purposes.

Orange told Judge Melanie Greally that his client injured his back while driving a truck for Guinness and discovered that lower strength cannabis helped ease the pain.

Counsel said his client was now drug free and suggested that Malinski was an upstanding citizen who was intending to make a life for himself and his fiancée in Ireland.

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The couple have recently opened a salad bar café and a number of testimonials were handed into court speaking of his good character.

Judge Greally had previously adjourned the case to allow for a Probation Service assessment for suitability for community service.

She noted that the resulting report was positive and that Malinski had good prospects, had shown remorse and had no previous convictions.

She ordered that he carry out 240 hours community service within a year in lieu of a two-year jail term.

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Sonya McLean

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