30 Sept 2022

Kilkenny Court: Prison sentence for sale and supply of cocaine

Kilkenny Courthouse

Kilkenny Courthouse

A prison sentence was imposed on a South Kilkenny man convicted of having cocaine in his possession for sale or supply.
Damian Power, 3 Harney’s Flats, Kilmacow, Co Kilkenny was convicted of the offence at his home address on November 7, 2019.
Detective Sergeant James O’Brien gave evidence that on the date in question a search warrant was obtained to search the defendant’s home.
At 7pm the detective sergeant along with several colleagues called to the property. The front door was unlocked and the gardaí entered the property and met with the defendant who was in the flat on his own. A search was conducted and the defendant was searched.
Det Sgt O’Brien told the court that during the search €975 in cash was found in the defendant’s wallet along with one bag of cocaine with a value of €113.
A search of the flat was also conducted and during this search in the top shelf in the kitchenette gardaí found a tub of a body building supplement which contained a larger bag of cocaine, valued at €337 hidden under the body building powder. Also in the tub was a little bag which contained 15 smaller bags. A digital weighing scales was also found with traces of white powder visibly consistent with cocaine.
Det Sgt O’Brien outlined that due to the defendant’s personal circumstances it was decided not to arrest him and after caution a detailed memo was taken. He was shown an exhibit, a bag containing white powder and asked what it was to which he replied, ‘it’s coke’. When asked by gardaí what he was going to do with it, he replied, ‘sniff it’. The defendant, who is on the dole, told gardaí that the €975 found in his wallet was his own.
A further €1,000 was found in the kitchen, when asked by gardaí about the money he said ‘I don’t want to say’. He told gardaí that the weighing scales was for ‘weighing the s**t’ referring to cocaine.
On November 14, 2019 the defendant presented at Kilkenny Garda Station and was arrested and interviewed. The drugs seized had an approximate value of €451 and according to the detective sergeant were ‘not consistent with immediate and personal consumption’.
The detective sergeant also said that the €1975 in cash was all in €50 and €20 notes, except for two €5 notes.
“The €1,000 was found bundled into a cup in the top shelf beside the tub and scales,” he said and added that the defendant is in receipt of €230 per week.
“My opinion was that this money was the proceeds of the sale of cocaine,” he said.
The defendant gave evidence and said that the money was ‘from working and saving up to pay a court fine’ and said that he had the weighing scales ‘to weigh the cocaine for himself’.
The defendant, who is a qualified plasterer said ‘if you buy more you get it cheaper’ and denied selling or supplying the drug to others.
Judge Joanne Carroll said that she was ‘absolutely satisfied beyond any doubt that the defendant is guilty’ under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The court heard that the defendant has 21 previous convictions, mainly under The Road Traffic Act. Solicitor Ed Hughes told the court that his client is no longer using cocaine.
“Your client told a tissue of lies in the witness box,” said the judge and convicted the defendant and imposed a four month prison sentence and suspended the final month for two years.

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