10 Aug 2022

Loyalty 'misplaced' in drugs case, Judge tells young man

Loyalty 'misplaced' in drugs case, Judge tells young man

A young man moved drugs out of loyalty to a friend, last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court heard.

Sydney Pindi (18) of 23 Colliers Wood, Portlaoise was charged with possession of drug(s) and possession for sale or supply on August 16 last at Colliers Wood..

The court heard the drugs were packets of cannabis-infused sweets, valued at €970.

Defence solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said the defendant did have possession of drugs but was doing so for a friend.

“His mother has taken great steps to prepare a plea,” he said, and both were very aware of the serious nature of the charges.

Initially, the defendant had been in a group which had been stopped by gardaí. One of these individuals then sent the defendant a message asking him to move a package for him.

“He said he was just doing it for a friend,” Mr Fitzgerald explained. He said the defendant is very young and had done so out of naivety and “loyalty and support” for a friend.

“His motivation was to help a friend, rather than for his own gain,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The defendant has secured a college place and is also good at sport.

A letter was also before the court from a local prominent figure outlining the good work the defendant had done in the past.

This would have been an “aberration” on the part of the defendant. “It was a silly mistake which could blight his future,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The defendant had been the “author of his own misfortune” and admitted dabbling in cannabis at a very low level, Mr Fitzgerald added.

“I am asking the court to give him an opportunity to put his best foot forward and prove himself,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“Loyalty to some persons,” Judge Mary Cashin said, “can result in harm, damage or death to other people”.

“It seems to me your loyalty was misplaced,” Judge Cashin said.

She said she took a very serious view of the sale or supply charge. “You wouldn’t be too happy if your brother or sister were sold these packets,” she said.

She did not accept an explanation of naivety, as the defendant is 18 years-of-age.

Judge Cashin said she was inclined to impose a conviction on the defendant. However, he had not come to garda attention since and has no previous convictions.

She sought a probation report for the defendant, as “everyone is entitled to a second chance”.

“What you did is very serious. I don’t want you to underestimate that,” Judge Cashin said.

The defendant was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court on December 3, next, to allow for the preparation of the probation report.

Judge Cashin said she was very impressed with the support provided by the defendant’s mother.

“As a mother myself, I know it’s not easy but our sons have to take the consequences of their actions,” she said.

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