27 May 2022

Man caught cultivating 112 cannabis plants in South East loses appeal

Tipperary: Man caught cultivating 112 cannabis plants in Co. Tipperary loses appeal against his five year jail sentence 

A man caught cultivating 112 cannabis plants in County Tipperary while he should have been serving a 12-year-jail term in the UK, has lost an appeal against his five year sentence.

Welsh man Wesley Purse (41), with an address at Ballydavid, Cloghrea, Rossadrehid, had pleaded guilty to possession and cultivation of €42,000 worth of cannabis at Rossadrehid on May 3, 2017. 

He was sentenced at Clonmel Circuit Criminal Court to five years imprisonment by Judge Tom Teehan on June 29, 2018, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Monday. 

Giving judgment in the three-judge court, Ms Justice Máire Whelan said Purse initially gave a false name to gardaí and claimed he had been coerced by a gang or group in Cork. 

However, the credibility of this claim was “substantially undermined” by the fact Purse provided a name that was merely an alias he had been using for himself in another jurisdiction, the judge said. 

Ms Justice Whelan said Purse had 92 previous convictions, including 13 for drugs offences. She said he committed the offence in Tipperary at a time he was ostensibly supposed to be serving a 12 year sentence in the UK. 

She said the final sentence was proportionate and within the margin of the Circuit Court judge’s discretion. 

Ms Justice Whelan, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said no error in principle was revealed and the appeal was therefore dismissed. 

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