A YOUNG father who admitted having €15,000 worth of cocaine stashed in a shoe box and hidden in a couch in his home was jailed for four years at Kilkenny Circuit Court.
Philip Hayden who has an address at 30 Altamount Park at the time of the offence but has since moved admitted the offence on May 13, 2006. Detective Garda Mark Wall told the court that at 11.30am he went to the house of Mr Hayden who was not present at the time. “A search took place and €1360 was found in cash in a coin box and a small piece of cannabis. There was also a container containing white powder and mobile phones and €280 in another container.
“There was a recreational room upstairs where there was a bar of cocaine fund in a Nike box in a couch and an electronic scales and ten D 10 tablets (valium),” added the detective. The cocaine seized weighed almost 300 grams and was valued at €15,000.
The court herd that the defendant fled to the UK a short time later. When he returned the 25-year-old accepted possession of the items and exonerated anyone else who was living in the house.“This is a significant amount of drugs seized in terms of local supply,” added the investigating garda.
The defendant’s barrister said that the reason that his client left was because he was in debt and needed ‘to clear the debt before he could face the charge’. “He said in an interview that he realised how stupid he had been when he handed himself in. He has been on drugs since he was 13 and was addicted to cocaine. He said he wanted to give up drugs to sort out his life,” said Det Gda Wall.
The court heard that the defendant fled the jurisdiction a second time when the matter was before the court when his girlfriend got pregnant. She miscarried in March 2009 and the defendant returned in November 2011 as he wanted to settle down and leave drugs behind him.
In passing sentence Judge Alice Doyle remarked that the defendant ‘handed himself over only to abscond again’. “There was a significant amount of drugs found and the only place that they were going was on the streets of Kilkenny to destruct and cause hell to people. He has a previous conviction for a drugs-related offence dating back to 2005. I take into account the reasons for fleeing and that he came back and handed himself in. It appears that he is making a large scale effort in keeping his life clean and and I am hopeful that he will take the right road,” she said.
Judge Doyle sentenced him to four years in prison. She suspended two years for a period of three years on condition that he be of good behaviour, keep the peace and attend the probation service and counselling where directed.