15-month jail term for trafficking cannabis

Man in the process of kicking his drug habit is jailed for 15 months, fined €1,200 for trafficking 227 grams of cannabis.

David Borg, 41 of Mgarr, who works as a driver, was jailed for 15 months and fined €1,200 after admitting to trafficking and aggravated possession of cannabis, and keeping an unlicensed firearm.

The case goes back to 10 November 2013, when police found eight pieces of cannabis resin weighing 227.34 grams at the residence of the accused. The drug had a purity level of less than 1.5%. A small amount of heroin was found, together with a shotgun, ammunition, and €11,430 in cash.

In a statement he released to the investigators, Borg explained how a number of his friends used to meet at his garage. "While having a chat, I used to offer them cannabis resin to smoke. At times they asked me for it themselves, either to smoke it on the spot or to take with them".

The accused told officers he smoked a lot of cannabis on daily basis, consuming up to 25 joints daily.

This was corroborated by probation officer Marilyn Formosa, who explained that Borg considered cannabis joints as his cigarettes. "He has been abusing cannabis for over 20 years, and has increased consumption over the past six years.

"Urine tests carried out while the man was in prison also tested positive, although tests done at the end of 2013 resulted in the negative. He is in the process of rehabilitating his lifestyle", the probation officer said.

The prosecution told the court that Borg was charged with trafficking, however this was in very small amounts. "The amount found in his possession, although not a small amount, has to be seen in terms of his own heavy abuse", the prosecution said.

Questioned about the heroin found at his residence, the accused said he had bought it about six months earlier for his own use, but never used it. "It simply doesn't appeal to me", He said.

In view of the charge about keeping an unlicensed firearm, Borg argued that it was an old shotgun that belonged to his grandfather. "When he died I found it and decided to keep it. I had also found a number of cartridges, which I also kept", the accused explained.

The defence counsel pleaded with the court that the €11,430 in cash seized during the search are released back to the accused. Borg had always claimed the money was earned from his panel beating and spray work, and from the sale of a sailing boat.

Two years earlier he had sold a boat for €10,000 and the document showing the change of ownership of the boat was duly exhibited. The Prosecution did not object to the request and the money was released in favour of the accused.

Noting his guilty plea, Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras jailed David Borg for 15 months and fined him €1,200. The court also ordered the convicted to pay €451 in court expenses. The shotgun and ammunition were seized by court order.

The magistrate issued a communication to the prisons director, highlighting the importance of Borg being given all necessary support to stay away from drugs and continue his rehabilitation.

Inspector Herman Mula prosecuted.