Suspended jail for heroin

Drugs

Suspended jail for heroin

A Portlaoise man said to be “dealing in misery” by selling heroin to clear a debt has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Before the court was Patrick Mallon (54), Meehan Court, Portlaoise.

When the case first came before the court in February last, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on April 21, 2017, a search was conducted at the accused’s home and heroin valued at €170 was located.

The accused admitted this was for his own use.

On September 21, 2017, the gardaí again searched his home and 22 individual wraps of heroin were seized, to a total value of €450.

The accused was not present at the time of this search.

The accused had 22 previous convictions, including four for drug offences.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had struggled with his addiction over many years, but is now stabilised on a methadone programme.

She said that he worked up a small debt and for a short time was dealing in heroin, “dealing in misery”.

Saying that the accused had significant previous convictions, Judge Bernadette Owens put the matter back to April 5 for a probation report.

When the case returned to court last week, Judge Catherine Staines said that the accused appeared to be clean of drugs. She imposed a ten-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.