Man who grew cannabis for his dying mother avoids jail as judge says ‘the heart was in the right place’

An apprentice electrician who started growing his own cannabis to make oil for his terminally ill mother and then started selling to friends has been given a suspended court sentence.

Referee Martina Baxter said Cianán Mimna’s “heart was in the right place” when he started growing cannabis in his bedroom at home to produce cannabis oil for his mother Paula, who was in terminal stage of a brain tumour, but he also used cannabis himself and started dealing with friends.

Gardai raided the house in Prioryland, Duleek, Co Meath, on February 18, 2020 and found cannabis worth €10,062 during a raid.

Mimna (29) took full responsibility for cannabis and fully cooperated with gardai.

Gardai also found cannabis oil on her mother’s bedside table and she told officers she had asked her son to get some from her as she was using it for therapeutic pain relief.

Trim Circuit Court learned this week that his mother sadly passed away in May 2020 just months after the raid.

The court heard that Mimna had regular urine tests to show he was drug free and had taken significant steps to rehabilitate since the raid.

Justice Baxter said drugs were a scourge on society even though people didn’t think cannabis did any harm.

“It’s an illegal substance and it has a glaring effect on society. Although some people say it may not have a huge negative effect on them, it’s illegal, it’s a controlled drug .

“He is an educated young man with the support of his family. No doubt his heart was in the right place as it was [sourcing] this for his mother.”

Judge Baxter added: “His mother was terminally ill at the time. There were paraphernalia of drug dealing and he was growing them in his bedroom.

“He is a young man who clearly knew what it was. He told Gardai that he was growing it to produce oil [for his mother] and he used it.

“He first started the operation of producing cannabis oil for the therapeutic relief of his mother.

However, Judge Baxter added: “There was clear evidence that he was selling cannabis.”

She said he did indeed run a business from his bedroom.

She added that although telephone evidence showed he was selling cannabis, Mimna cooperated fully with Gardai in admitting he was doing so.

“He told Gardai while using cannabis himself that he was [also] coming to sell it.

“It was therapeutic for his mother, but he also profited from its use and abuse and selling it to friends.

“Unfortunately his mother has since passed away and has not seen him rehabilitated.”

Justice Baxter said it was very sad and tragic that Mimna’s mother died and she said the court had already heard of her father, who is now a widower with two sons.

Several reports were given to the court by professionals, including counselors and probation services who had treated Mimna since her arrest, all of which were very supportive.

He also had the support of his family and girlfriend, who were in court supporting him. The court heard he was an apprentice electrician with one year left in his apprenticeship and that his boss had also appeared in court at a previous session to vouch for him.

His defense lawyer said he was very apologetic for what he had done and “now recognizes that the road he took was wrong”.

He had no previous convictions.

Judge Baxter said she accepted his remorse was genuine and also considered his early guilty plea, his full cooperation with Gardai and other matters.

She sentenced him to two and a half years in prison but suspended for a period of three years.

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