Appeal against 12-year drug sentence rejected

A hospital porter who turned an apartment into a cocaine factory has had his appeal against the severity of his 12-year jail sentence dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Last November Kevin Kelly (aged 27), of Hawthorn Mews, Dublin Hill, Cork, pleaded guilty to possessing €327,000 worth of cocaine for sale and supply in a rucksack he was carrying and in a bedroom that was set up as a factory for cutting pure cocaine out of an apartment at Brideholm, Commons Road Cork, on October 24, 2006.

As well as the drugs, a subsequent search of his bedroom at his parents' home resulted in the seizure of €60,000 in cash. Kelly admitted that this cash was the proceeds of drug trafficking or other crimes.

At Cork Circuit Court, Judge Patrick J Moran jailed Kelly for 12 years. Kelly appealed the severity of that sentence.

Today, the three-judge Court of Criminal Appeal of Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns sitting with Mr Justice Declan Budd and Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne dismissed the appeal and said that Judge Moran had absolutely imposed the correct sentence.

Tim O'Leary SC for Kelly said that the sentencing judge had failed to take into account Kelly's previous good character, his young age, his admissions to the gardaí and his plea of guilty. The DPP opposed the appeal and argued the sentence should stand.


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