Man caught importing €19,000 of cannabis for use in ‘pain relief’ spared jail

Court told Lloyd Pennant (60) has MS and cannot take injections to treat condition at times

A man who imported more than €19,000 of cannabis with the intention of using it to relieve his pain has received a fully suspended sentence. File photograph: PA Wire.

A man who imported more than €19,000 of cannabis with the intention of using it to relieve his pain has received a fully suspended sentence. File photograph: PA Wire.

 

A man who imported more than €19,000 of cannabis with the intention of using it to relieve his pain has received a fully suspended sentence.

Lloyd Pennant (60) was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2000 and is unable to take injections to treat his condition when his blood pressure drops below a certain level.

Pennant, with an address at Bridge Street, Dundalk, Co Louth, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to importing drugs at Terminal 2, Alexandra Road, Dublin Port, on June 4th, 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at the same address on the same date. He has 16 previous convictions, including for deception, using a false instrument and possession of stolen property.

Garda Paul Osbourne told Michael Hourigan BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, Pennant was stopped by customs officials having disembarked from a ferry and searched. He told the officials that he was carrying cannabis.

The cannabis, valued at €19,800, was discovered in his hand luggage in two separate bags.

Intention

Garda Osbourne agreed with Oisin Clarke BL, defending, that his client told customs officials that he collected the drugs himself in the UK and his intention was to use them himself. He agreed Pennant said he had MS and had gotten the cannabis for that reason. Mr Clarke said his client had spent five months in custody on this matter.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was “reasonably believable” that Pennant was going to use the drugs for self-medication. He said his stay in prison would be “very difficult” if he imposed a sentence.

Judge Nolan said this was “an exceptional case” principally because of the accused suffering from MS. He said he thinks Pennant needs “proper medical treatment in a non-stressful situation”.

He sentenced Pennant to four years imprisonment, but suspended the entirety of the sentence on strict conditions.