Jail sentence for ‘selling misery to other people’

Mr Philip Meagher, Portlaoise solicitor.
A Portlaoise man convicted of having in his possession heroin for sale was last week given a prison sentence by Judge Catherine Staines for “selling misery to other people”.

A Portlaoise man convicted of having in his possession heroin for sale was last week given a prison sentence by Judge Catherine Staines for “selling misery to other people”.

Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was Liam Carroll, with an address listed at 24 Millbrook, Portlaoise.

He faced two charges of the unlawful possession of drugs, and one charge of possession of drugs for sale or supply. The offences were committed at his home address on June 27, 2012.

Garda Inspector Declan Dunne gave evidence that gardaí carried out a search of the defendant’s home on that date. They found heroin in a small bag and cannabis herb in the living room. Inspector Dunne said the value of the heroin was €140.

When questioned, Carroll admitted selling heroin to about six or seven people.

Carroll has 61 previous convictions. Insp Dunne said these were mostly theft offences, although Carroll did have previous convictions for drugs. On one occasion, Carroll was convicted of having 200 ecstasy tablets.

Defence for Carroll was Mr Philip Meagher.

Mr Meagher outlined that Carroll is a 27-year-old man on social welfare with one child. He said that Carroll has had a long-standing drug difficulty and has been attending Coote Street addiction services in Portlaoise for seven years.

Mr Meagher handed in a letter from Coote Street and a recent urinalysis report on his client.

Defence went on to say that Carroll is now on 55ml of methadone a day. At the time of the offence, he had been suffering from depression and following a lapse he took drugs again.

“He compounded matters by buying additional heroin to sell to friends, to feed his own habit,” said Mr Meagher. “He’s back on the rails now.”

Judge Catherine Staines ruled that the offence was too serious not to impose a custodial sentence.

“He’s one of the fortunate people to have secured a place on Coote Street and he still went on to sell heroin,” said Judge Staines. “This is too serious. He was selling misery to other people.”

The judge imposed an eight-month sentence on Carroll.

She fixed recognisance on Carroll’s own bond of €100 to allow an appeal.