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Couple’s ‘joint operation’ brings them before court

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A married couple who were discovered with €46,410 worth of cannabis herb at various stages of maturation were before last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court.
Sergeant Jim Cadden told Judge Rory McCabe that he received confidential information on October 15, 2016 that Mr Richard Tomasec of 90, The Syacamores, Cluain na Rí, Ballina, was in possession of cannabis and supplying it to Polish nationals.
On the following day, accompanied by members of the Mayo Divisional Drug Unit and with a search warrant, he visited the home of Mr Tomasec and his wife, Stepanka  Tomascova, both Czech nationals. The unit discovered plants at various stages of maturation in the attic as well as harvested leaves which were being dried.
After their arrest, Stepanka Tomascova said they had obtained the seeds online two years ago and were selling the drug for €10 per gram to friends and on occasions giving it away free. Her husband confirmed it was a joint operation.
The court heard that the couple have three children aged five, 15 and 17, with the eldest attending college. While Ms Tomascova was employed in a local amusement arcade, her husband, a welder, had an accident during which heavy machinery fell on him and he was now under the care of a neurologist. He used the cannabis for pain management, the judge was told.
Mr Diarmuid Connolly, defence counsel for Ms Tomascova, said they were ‘a tight family unit’ and ‘not known to the gardaí’ until this incident. He said they were ‘genuinely remorseful’ and were at a ‘low risk of reoffending’.
“A  custodial sentence would be very harsh,” Mr Connolly said.
“They should have thought of that before they got involved,” Judge McCabe said. “As drug operations go, at least this is marginally commercial. The quantity involved places it on the mid-scale of gravity.”
He imposed 240 hours community service in lieu of a three-year jail sentence.

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