Man had cannabis to bribe gardaí, court hears

A North Cork man caught with more than €16,000 worth of cannabis told investigating detectives he had the drugs to offer them as bribes to gardaí if he was caught speeding.

Father of five Kieran Murphy, aged 42, of Ashgrove, Cross of the Groves, Clonlough, Mitchelstown, appeared for sentencing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

He had spent the past month in jail after Judge Seán Ó Donnabhain said he was less than impressed with Murphy’s flippant approach to matters.

The judge said: “He should appreciate the seriousness of what he’s facing and realise this is not the time to tell fairy stories.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin said that in the circumstances, he would give Murphy an opportunity to reflect on his position and what he wanted to tell gardaí and the court and he remanded him in custody to appear again in court for sentence yesterday.

Donal O’Sullivan, defending, accepted that Murphy was something of a Walter Mitty character and a fantasist. However, Mr O’Sullivan said yesterday that Murphy was well thought of in the community and had worked as a builder before losing work in the last few years.

Judge Ó Donnabháin decided to impose an 18-month suspended jail term yesterday and noted that the defendant had no previous convictions for drugs and nothing since 11 bars of cannabis resin were found under his stairs on Oct 15, 2010.

Murphy had pleaded guilty to having the cannabis for sale or supply.

Det Gda Denise Fitzgerald told the court gardaí found the 11 bars of cannabis resin in a panel under the stairs during a planned search.

Murphy was not present when the search began but arrived back during the course of the operation and admitted ownership of the cannabis, she added.

Murphy was arrested and questioned about the drugs and he told officers he had found them inside a gate in a field and that he had kept them to give to gardaí if he was caught speeding.

“He said he was using the drugs to square things with the gardaí if he got a speeding ticket,” said Det Gda Fitzgerald, adding that after several interviews, Murphy was co-operative with investigators.

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