A 50-year-old woman who tried to bring €1,000 of cannabis into the Mildands Prison hidden in her underwear claimed she was ordered to do so by drug dealers who had threatened to kill her son.
Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was Linda Conlon, with an address at 35 Thomond Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, charged with the supply of a controlled drug into prison.
Garda Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that Conlon had been visiting her son in the Midlands Prison on October 26 this year, when she was detected by staff with the drug concealed in her underwear. She made full admissions to the gardaí and said she was under threat and under duress to carry out the transaction.
Insp Farrelly said the State could not verify this claim at present and the investigation is ongoing.
Defence said that Conlon, a 50-year-old receptionist at a Dublin hospital, has suffered with anxiety and depression since the incident. A letter was handed in to court from Conlon’s GP, and a letter from her employer.
Defence said that some years ago Conlon’s son became indebted to drug dealers and was ordered to drive a van to a certain location, but the van was intercepted and €600,000 of cannabis was found in the back. Conlon’s son was convicted and given a lengthy sentence in 2007.
Defence claimed that since then Conlon and her family have been subjected to threats and intimidation. Their house has been burgled and Conlon herself was mugged. The windows of their jeep were smashed and the vehicle itself burnt out.
Defence went on to claim that three days prior to the offence, Conlon had been approached outside her work by a man with package, who told her: “We’ll be posting your son back to you in bits if you don’t bring this into prison.”
Conlon had been “petrified” by this man. Defence pointed out her previous clean record and said that a criminal conviction could mean her losing her job.
“She’s unlikely to trouble (this court) again in the future,” said defence, adding that she had received many threats over the years.
Judge Denis McLoughlin put the matter back to Tullamore District Court on February 19, 2014, for a probation report.