Court - 'Main name' in Portarlington drug dealing given jail

25-year-old was 'dealing in misery'

Court - 'Main name' in Portarlington drug dealing given jail

A 25-year-old man described as one of the main drug dealers in the Portarlington area has been sentenced to ten months in jail, after being caught selling heroin to undercover gardaí on two separate dates.

Kenneth Roche (25), 173 North Road, Finglas, Dublin, was charged at last week’s district court with two counts of having drugs for sale or supply, and drug possession, in Portarlington on November 26 and December 17, 2015.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that the accused was arrested as part of an undercover operation into the sale of drugs in the Portlaoise and Portarlington area in 2015.

On November 26, 2015, the accused sold two bags of diamorphine valued at €30 to undercover gardaí, at Kilnacourt Wood, Portarlington.

On December 17, 2015, the accused again sold diamorphine to undercover gardaí, three bags valued €50.

When arrested, the accused did not cooperate with gardaí, and did not admit the offences, said Insp Farrelly.

The accused had no previous convictions for drugs, but had for road traffic matters.

Defence, Ms Louise Troy said her client was a drug addict, who had been using drugs since the age of 16 or 17. She said he needed to wake up and had sought to go for in-house treatment, with an appointment due on January 16.

Ms Troy also said Roche had a job lined up, which was the first real opportunity he had ever had.

Judge Catherine Staines said these were very serious offences, with Roche “dealing in misery” by selling heroin.

Saying she wanted to hear from a member of the drugs unit, she put the matter back to the afternoon.

When the case was recalled, a detective garda told the court that the accused was the main name on the list locally in the undercover operation.

The detective said he never knew the accused to be a drug addict, only a dealer.

Judge Catherine Staines imposed ten months in prison, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.

Roche subsequently appealed the conviction.

A separate charge relating to motoring offences, including no driving licence or no insurance, on July 13 last year was put back to April 28 for hearing.