Court hears woman in Kerry dealt cannabis and cocaine to buy food for horses in animal sanctuary

A middle-aged English woman running an animal sanctuary in Kerry resorted to dealing cannabis and cocaine to buy food for her horses.

Rosalin Barton of Barrduff, Killarney was jailed for four years today. She was caught in a transaction involving the movement of €139,000 worth of cannabis herb at Dromalour, Kanturk, County Cork.

In a follow-up search at her home in Kerry €8,500 worth of cocaine was found. She pleaded guilty to having both drugs for sale or supply.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “It is a very significant offence - €139,000 worth of herb.

She was fully aware of what she was doing, fully aware of the criminality involved in the distribution of drugs, effectively on a county-wide basis. And she had cocaine at her home place ready and stored for distribution.

Detective Garda Paul Leahy testified that the crime was detected on December 8, 2017 following a surveillance operation on the outskirts of Kanturk.

Two vans were seen driving in convoy and then pulling in to a lay-by. Two black refuse sacks were transferred from one van to another and they then parted company. All parties were arrested shortly afterwards. The sacks contained seven kilos of cannabis.

She got a six-year sentence with the last two years suspended. The driver of the other van, Kieran McCann of Greenane Street, Kanturk, pleaded guilty to the charge of having cannabis for sale or supply.

He got a six-year sentence with half of it suspended.

Derek O’Donovan Inchwell Road, Kanturk, was represented by Siobhán Lankford SC, who said O’Donovan was a passenger in McCann’s van and had the least part in the offence.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said there were sufficient exceptional grounds in O’Donovan’s case to impose a five-year sentence which was fully suspended.

All three defendants pleaded guilty to having cannabis for sale or supply.

Barton was the only one of the three who was convicted on the additional charge of having cocaine for sale or supply for which she was given a three-year concurrent sentence.

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