A Balla graduate bought illegal drugs online after he became ‘addicted to the feeling of euphoria’ that they gave him.
Jason Duffy (24) of 7, Woodlands, Balla, had formerly bought similar products in a head shop in Galway before such shops were outlawed.
He bought them from a Dutch-based website and he told Castlebar District Court he believed that they were legal in Ireland.
Detective Garda Tyrone Tobin told the court that he called to the defendant’s home on January 20, 2012, with a search warrant after receiving information from a ‘known source’. There, Mr Duffy co-operated and showed him 40 bags of white powder. An apparent ‘tick list’ and weighing scales were also present.
In total, 28.039 grammes of 4-MEC (4-methylethcathinone) and 4.012 grammes of methedrone, were found. The total value was €1,542.37.
Defending solicitor Lynda Lenehan said that the drugs had been legal until November 2011, and that Duffy had paid €800 for them. She said he had not used any such products since the Garda search. Ms Lenehan said he had become ‘addicted to the feeling of euphoria’ but now wanted to get his life in order.
Jason Duffy told the court that he first used the products in a head shop in Galway but did not become addicted, as he was studying for his Arts degree in NUI Galway, which he obtained in May 2011.
He said he was not working afterwards and had become addicted to the products at home in Balla. He said he was using 15 to 20 grammes a week. He said he initially bought the drugs in order to sell some to pay off a debt, but he said the drugs he got were ‘worse than anything I’ve taken’ and described them as ‘fiendish’. He said he was only sleeping 15 to 20 hours a week when he was taking the drugs.
He said he wanted to go to both Hope House and Tabor House to get his life ‘back on track’.
Judge Mary Devins adjourned the matter for the preparation of a Probation Report on May 15.