Eight year sentence for drug dealing father

A father of three who continued to deal drugs after being caught with a €73,000 heroin stash has been given an eight-year sentence by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Francis Broughan (aged 31) was found with drugs valued at €73,000 during a garda search but continued to ply his illicit trade and another garda search three months later found drugs valued at €1,139 in his home.

Broughan, of Huntstown Avenue, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin at his home on August 1, 2006 and again on November 9, 2006.

Judge Delahunt said it was clear Broughan was engaged in drug dealing "on a commercial basis". She said a report on his early life made "sad and sorry reading" and took into account his early plea and co-operation with gardaí regarding his own role.

Judge Delahunt imposed concurrent sentences totalling eight years which she backdated to January to reflect time spent in custody.

Garda Vincent Campbell told Mr Fergal Foley BL, prosecuting, that cash to the value of €3,085 and drug paraphernalia was also seized in one of the searches. He said Broughan had 13 previous convictions.

Gda Campbell agreed with defence counsel, Mr Justin McQuade BL (with Mr Conor Devalley SC), that Broughan had not accumulated material wealth but said he believed him "to be above the level of street dealer."

Mr Devally submitted that Broughan had been abusing drugs since he was 16 and "had practically nil education." He had suffered a traumatic event at a young age and "resorted to mind altering substances".

Mr Devally said Broughan had entered a very early guilty plea in both cases, had admitted to his own role and co-operated with gardai.

Mr McQuade said Broughan had been taking steps to address his drug addiction and was on a methadone program where his dosage was reduced on a "blind" basis without his knowledge which, counsel said, would make Broughan "more stable" at the end of the course.

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