Cannabis grow house was discovered behind partition

By Brion Hoban

A “cannabis grow house” was discovered behind a false partition in a beautician's wardrobe by firemen searching for the source of a fire, a court has heard.

Elwira Syfert (40) of James' Court, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to cultivation of cannabis at Passion Tanning & Beauty, Westpark Gate, Tallaght, on January 22, 2017. She has no previous convictions.

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Detective Garda Cian Steers told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question when the fire brigade were called to the address there was some confusion as to the source of the fire that was causing the premises to fill up with smoke.

Dt Gda Steers said they discovered that located behind the false partition of a white wardrobe in the premises there was a “cannabis grow house”.

 

This concealed section of the premises was also home to the source of the fire.

Inside the room there were 39 mature cannabis plants with an estimated total value of €31,200. Several smaller cannabis plants were also discovered which had been destroyed by the fire.

In interview with gardaí, Syfert said that she was approached by a man who gave her €400 a month to use the concealed section of her leased premises and she did not initially know what he was doing inside. She said the man began to threaten her not to tell anyone about the concealed section.

At a later stage she became aware of the plants and the man threatened to kill her if she told gardaí. He began asking her to water and feed the plants.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said there was no evidence of trafficking or that his client had done anything other than water the plants. He said that slowly but surely the man his client was dealing with became more sinister and had a hold over her.

Judge Martin Nolan acknowledged that the accused was under pressure and said it seemed unjust to imprison her. He sentenced her to three years imprisonment, which the suspended in full on strict conditions.

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