English teacher caught with makeshift cannabis grow house in home

by Gazette Reporter
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By Isabel Hayes

An English teacher who was caught with just under €25,000 worth of cannabis in his Dublin home, including in a makeshift growhouse, has had his prison sentence fully suspended.

David Rodgers (47) was caught by gardaí selling cannabis on Henry Street in Dublin on October 30, 2018.

When gardaí went on to search his house, they found it was full of glass jars containing cannabis herb, as well as a makeshift growhouse in one of the bedrooms. The total value of the drugs found came to €24,640.

When interviewed by gardaí, Rodgers “kept saying what he had was a natural herb,” Garda Fergus Grant told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. However, he admitted to selling cannabis on Henry Street.

Rodgers, of Dunard Road, Navan Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cannabis for sale or supply at this then home. He has 12 previous convictions, mainly dating back to the 80’s, for theft and public order offences.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said his client had a “most unusual profile” for the court. Having left school at the age of 15, he went back to get his Junior and Leaving cert exams before he went on to become an English teacher to foreign students.

Having lived in various places around the world, he is proficient at Spanish, German and Arabic, the court heard.

Rodgers was badly assaulted by his brother over a row concerning the family home and spent five months in hospital, the court heard. He had been studying for a languages degree in DCU, but had to give this up.

He suffered a brain injury in the assault and struggles with short term memory and learning. After leaving rehab, he turned to alcohol and then cannabis, the court heard.

Judge Karen O’Connor noted garda evidence that since this offence Rodgers has been as “good as gold” and has not come to any garda attention.

She noted that he is still recovering from an acquired brain injury and said that there was no benefit to society or anyone by incarcerating Rodgers.

She suspended a two and a half year prison sentence on condition he keep the peace, engage with drug addition treatment.

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