Court hears how former drugs counsellor caught transporting €136k of cocaine

Court hears how former drugs counsellor caught transporting €136k of cocaine

A former drugs counsellor who was caught transporting €136,000 of cocaine has received a partially suspended sentence.

Christian Herbert (40) of Sheepmore Avenue, Blanchardstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Blackcourt Road, Corduff, on November 16, 2018.

The court heard that on the date in question, the accused was caught transporting approximately €136,000 of cocaine on behalf of another person. Herbert was promised a reduction of €500 from a drug debt for transporting the cocaine.

Seamus Clarke SC, defending, told the court that his client had previously been addicted to drugs, but was clean between 2003 and 2015. He said his client began taking drugs once again following the breakdown of his marriage.

Mr Clarke said his client has been in custody since the date of his arrest and he is currently taking methadone while in custody.

Judge Elma Sheahan noted a probation report placed Herbert as a moderate risk of re-offending due to his addiction, his wish to detox and his working as a cleaner while in custody. She said the case was aggravated by the seriousness of the offence.

She said the case was mitigated by Herbert having previously worked as a drug counsellor following his previous detoxification and his insight into drug culture and the damage it does to society.

Judge Sheahan said other mitigating factors were his early plea of guilty, his co-operation with gardaí, his genuine remorse and desire to reform, his familial support and the fact gardaí accepted he was in fear at the time of the offence.

She sentenced Herbert to three-and-a-half years imprisonment, but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence for 24 months on strict conditions.

Judge Sheahan backdated the sentence to the date Herbert first went into custody, November 16, last.

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