A garda on crime patrol observed a vehicle at a lay by on the M9 motorway and following a search discovered almost 1,000 ecstasy tablets.
Detective Garda Brian Whitty gave evidence at Kilkenny Circuit Court that on June 24, 2018 he was on patrol in the area when he observed the vehicle parked in a layby at Lachtbrack.
The detective carried out a search of the vehicle and found 997 ecstasy tablets, with an estimated street value of €9,870. Detective Garda Whitty said that the defendant was co-operative and made admissions.
Brian Barry, 12 Yew Woods, Youghal, Co Cork had previously pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply contrary to section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act. He also admitted having the drugs in his possession for his own personal use.
The defendant has on previous conviction under section 3 of The Misuse of Drugs Act.
The defendant stated during his interview with gardaí that he had been used as a drugs mules and ‘was making a trip to pay off a drug debt’. Det Gda Whitty told the court that he was satisfied that the defendant was ‘transporting drugs to pay off a drugs debt’.
Defence barrister, Adrian O'Higgins said that his client was a 35-year-old, father of four and was currently in employment and ‘has structure in his life'.
At the time of the offence the defendant ‘was under significant duress over a drugs debt’ and that his family had to pay off his debt.
A probation report was before the court which stated that the defendant is ‘at low risk of reoffending’ and has ‘significant family support’ and is ‘no longer addicted to illegal substances’.
Urine samples have also been provided at a medical centre which show that the defendant is clear of all substances.
The barrister said that there had been ‘a significant transformation’ of his client who has ‘turned his life around’ but added that ‘obviously drugs are a scourge on society’.
Judge Patrick Meghan said that he had to consider ‘the effect of the crime on society’ and ‘the prospect of rehabilitation’ of the offender and added that there were a number of aggravating factors in the case including the value of the drugs seized and the fact that the defendant has a previous conviction under section 3 of The Misuse of Drugs Act.
Judge Meghan also remarked that there were mitigating factors in the case including the defendant’s early plea and the fact that he is in employment.
Judge Meghan convicted the defendant under section 15 of The Misuse of Drugs Act and sentenced him to three years in prison which he suspended for five years on condition the defendant enter a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour and refrain from using any non-prescribed drugs.
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