Distressed semi-naked woman at house where £80k of drugs found
When police responded to an emergency call about a domestic disturbance, they found a semi-naked woman and £80k worth of drugs, a court has heard.
Lisburn Magistrates Court heard that last Friday (July 23, 2021) the PSNI were called to a domestic incident at Lurgan’s Gilford Road.
Police told the court that when they arrived at the property they saw a distressed woman wearing only her underpants in the front of the property with her co-accused.
Police separated the pair and brought Nicole Wolska (aged 21) with an address at Gilford Road, Lurgan into the property to get her a robe.
When they went into the living room they saw a mini-greenhouse with seedlings for cannabis and upstairs there were two bedrooms converted into cannabis growing hubs with lighting, heating and ventillation.
Appearing via video link from Lurgan Police Station was Przemyslaw Bartosz Jakusz (32) a Polish national of no fixed abode who was charged with six offences including cultivating cannabis on 23 July 2021 at Gilford Road Lurgan.
He was also charged with possession of a Class B drug on the same date and being concerned for the supply of a Class B drug and being in possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply.
He was also charged with criminal damage to property, namely 23 Gilford Road, Lurgan and dishonestly using electricity without authority also on July 23.
Nicole Wolska, with an address on the Gilford Road, Lurgan was also charged with cultivating cannabis on July 23 and being concerned with the supply of cannabis as well as possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
She was also charged that on the same date with criminal damage to an electric metre box and dishonestly using electricity.
Ms Wolksa, who doesn’t speak English and used the services of an interpreter, appeared distressed and in tears via the video link at Banbridge custody suite.
When her co-accused Jakusz, who was speaking via video link from Lurgan custody suit, was asked if he understood the charges, he said he did and added through the video a message to Wolska saying: “I love you.”
Giving evidence to the court, a constable said he could connect the pair to the charges.
He said that on Friday last, July 23, police received reports of a disturbance and came across a distressed female outside the property wearing just her underpants.
The officer said he separated both defendants and police brought Ms Wolksa into the house to get a robe.
There they found a mini-greenhouse in the living room with seedlings and more cannabis plants growing in upstairs bedrooms.
The officer said Mr Jakusz said he had arrived in April to NI to work as an electrician. However his qualifications did not match those needed in this country and he was unable to get work.
Mr Jakusz had received £20k from a friend to start a new life and used £15k of it to start the cannabis farm.
The officer said the mains electricity was redirected and the whole operation was ‘very professional’. He added that Ms Wolksa joined her co-accused in June and it appeared that her job was assisting him with the plants.
He said the plants found were of the a value estimated at £80k.
The officer said neither defendant had been in NI before and they were not aware of any international offending as yet.
Ruairi Gillen, representing Ms Wolksa, said it was clear from the outset that the bulk of this operation was not linked to his client and urged that she be released on bail and receive the help of female agencies such as Women’s Aid. He urged the judge to ‘use his experience and read between the lines’. He said his client was just 21-years-old and had been working as a waitress in Poland and has no criminal convictions. He asked for bail given her limited role in the matter.
Mr Barry McKenna, representing Mr Jakusz, asked the officer if his client had been co-operative to which the officer replied ‘very cooperative’.
The officer confirmed that police had seized both their passports.
The court then heard that Jakusz had a successful business in Poland, employing up to ten people until the pandemic hit and there was no financial support. He went bankrupt and borrowed £20k to start a new life.
Mr McKenna said: “This is a man with no means. There is nothing for him in Poland.”
Judge White refused Jakusz bail. He said the defendant had set up a ‘professional drug operation’ and was a ‘flight risk’.
He was remanded in custody to appear before Craigavon Magistrates Court on August 23.
Judge White described Wolska as ‘different’ and ‘on the edge and not a major mover.
He granded her bail on £300 and she is to reside in police approved accommodation as well as surrender her passport and she must sign at an agreed police station three times per week. Her case was adjourned to Craigavon Magistrates Court until August 23.
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