05/08/2021

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Man avoids jail term after he was caught carrying drugs in a shopping bag and his underwear

Man avoids jail term after he was caught carrying drugs in a shopping bag and his underwear

A man who caught carrying over €20,000 of drugs in a shopping bag and in his underwear has received a fully suspended sentence.

Cian McEvoy (26) attempted to discard the shopping bag containing cannabis when gardaí approached, but later volunteered that he had 10 deals of cocaine concealed in his underwear.

McEvoy, of Avonbeg Road, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis and cocaine for sale or supply at Avonbeg Field, Tallaght, on March 14, 2020. He has no previous convictions.

Garda Edward Walsh told Joe Barnes BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question he was on mobile patrol in the Avonbeg area of Tallaght when he observed a group of men walking on a footpath, including the accused man.

Gda Walsh said McEvoy was carrying a shopping bag, which he discarded as gardaí approached. The bag was found behind a wall containing cannabis with a value of just under €20,000.

When asked by gardaí if he had anything else, McEvoy said he had a quantity of cocaine concealed in his underwear. He surrendered the 10 deals of cocaine which had a combined value of just under €600.

Gda Walsh described McEvoy as being “the unfortunate patsy” who was carrying the drugs on that day and that he was not one of “the main players”.

The garda agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, that his client volunteered that he had cocaine on his person and took responsibility for the drugs. He agreed McEvoy had a substantial debt due to his addiction to cocaine.

Gda Walsh agreed with counsel that this debt has subsequently been paid off in full.

Sinead McEvoy, the mother of the accused, told Mr O'Higgins that her son was diagnosed with ADHD and began smoking cannabis when he was aged 14.

Ms McEvoy said she has paid large sums of money herself in order to clear her son's debt. She said her son is to pay that money back to her and that he is “accountable” for it.

She said her son has attended drug counselling and has undergone urinalysis which was negative for drugs.

Judge Melanie Greally said she accepts McEvoy's offending was in part to fund his addiction, but primarily was to clear his large debt. She said he was “remorseful and candid” in his admissions to gardaí.

Judge Greally said that bearing in mind his particular profile, his youth at the time and his having a “very severe” addiction, the combined effect of those factors was that he comes within a small cohort of cases where the court can depart from imposing a custodial sentence.

She sentenced McEvoy to three years imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions, including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months.

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