Suspended sentence for landlord who fled police during drugs search

A LANDLORD who fled from police during a search on a house he had rented out has been given a suspended sentence for drugs supply charges.

Saulius Pakuckas (44) who now lives at Ard Cluan, Clones but had previously lived in Fermanagh, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court for sentencing on four drugs charges. These were possession of a Class A drug, namely cocaine, possession of a Class B drug, namely cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and possession of a Class B drug, namely amphetamine.

The charges arose after police on mobile patrol called to a property in Fermanagh, the exact location of which was not disclosed in court, on May 10 last year. Two men fled from the scene, one of whom was the defendant, by running out from the side of the house and fleeing across nearby fields.

A search of the property uncovered 600g of herbal cannabis, 15g of cocaine, and 4g of amphetamine, some of which were found in a food waste bin outside.

When arrested Pakuckas, who owned the house but had rented it out, he denied any knowledge of activities at the property.

Defence barrister Jonathan Browne told the court Pakuckas had previously lived at the house in question with his now ex-partner for eight years, and after the couple split up they decided to rent it out. Originally from Lithuania, he said Pakuckas had rented the home out to other foreign nationals.

Mr Browne said at the time of the detection the other accused, who he did not name in court, was living at the home but he was now believed to be residing in the South. He said an arrest warrant had been issued for his arrest if he re-enters the North.

The barrister told the court that while the home itself was rented out, Pakuckas continued to work as a mechanic from a garage attached to it, and was regularly in the property having lunch and checking on its condition. He said the defendant knew the tenant, was concerned about his drug use, and had been trying to help him get addiction treatment.

Mr Browne said Pakuckas had said he did not know the other man was selling drugs, only becoming aware when he was arrested.

District Judge Steven Keown said he felt there was “a level of minimisation” in Mr Browne’s explanation, but accepted Pakuckas was not the main instigator of the offences.

Making a destruction order for the drugs, Judge Keown sentenced Pakuckas to a total of four months in prison, suspended for two years.


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