Pensioner (73) found with 40 cannabis plants at his Skibbereen home avoids jail as judge warns him he’s running out of chances
A PENSIONER who was living quietly ‘off the grid’ while growing cannabis for his own use was handed a three year suspended prison sentence.
ork Circuit Criminal Court was told that Richard Goldfrapp (73) was found with 40 cannabis plants at his Skibbereen home in west Cork – and informed Gardaí these were entirely for his own use.
Goldfrapp of Kilcoe, Skibbereen, Co Cork previously received a three-year suspended sentence for the same offence.
Det Garda Andrew Manning said he went to the remote home of the pensioner on June 11 2021 with a search warrant.
He discovered the forty cannabis plants in pots.
The detective said that it was accepted that the UK national, who has lived in Ireland for over 40 years, was growing the plants solely for his own use.
Goldfrapp had previously pleaded guilty to a possession charge.
Judge Helen Boyle was told there was no suggestion that the elderly man was supplying the cannabis to anyone in the area and Gardaí accepted the cannabis was entirely for his own use.
The plants were being cultivated without any special lighting, tents or hydroponics which is a soilless method of growing cannabis using water as the primary medium.
Within a hydroponic setup, cannabis plants are grown in buckets and are suspended over a tank of water.
Det Garda Manning said that the plants were immature and would possibly not have reached their full potential because they were being grown in an unsophisticated manner.
Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan BL said his client had taken four urinalysis tests prior to his court appearance which had all shown him to be clear of drugs.
He explained that the possibility of receiving a custodial sentence had “jolted him (Goldfrapp) to a sense of reality.”
Mr O’Sullivan stressed that his client wanted to emphasise that Dt Garda Manning was extremely “polite” in his dealings with him.
Det Garda Manning replied that Goldfrapp was “a nice man to deal with” and that he had cooperated fully with the garda investigation into the case.
He told the court that he was prepared to keep an eye on the defendant to make sure that he was staying on the straight and narrow.
Judge Boyle said her one hesitation in relation to sentencing related to the fact that Goldfrapp previously received a suspended sentence for exactly the same offence.
She jailed him for three years, suspending the entirety of the sentence.
However, she warned the pensioner that he was running out of chances.
Judge Boyle told him that he was facing a custodial sentence if he ever offends in this manner again.
She warned that the law did not allow for the growing of cannabis, even if Goldfrapp had an “off grid” lifestyle living in a remote part of the country.