Former Bray Wanderers footballer guilty in €400,000 drug case

A former Bray Wanderers footballer who was found in possession of almost half a million euro worth of cocaine and heroin at his family home has had his sentencing adjourned until next week.

Paul Dunphy (22), who made 48 senior appearances for the Seagulls between 2007 and 2008, told gardaí that he was the “keeper” and not the owner of €220,548 in cocaine and €199,161 in heroin uncovered by gardaí following the execution of a search warrant on his home.

Dunphy pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and cocaine with a combined value of €419,709 for sale or supply at Cleggan Park, Ballyfermot on August 13, 2009.

Garda Finola Heaney agreed with Mr Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that she and her colleagues found two 500g packages of heroin in a bedroom Dunphy shared with his younger brother, as well as four packages of cocaine in the attic and further quantities of crack cocaine.

Gda Heaney told the court that the search also revealed drugs paraphernalia such as a weighing-scales, scissors and plastic cut-offs used in the process of bagging smaller amounts of cocaine for resale

She agreed that when he was asked about the heroin found in his bedroom, Dunphy replied: “It’s all mine”.

Gda Heaney agreed that, during interview, Dunphy identified the substances found in the house as heroin and cocaine and confirmed that he had weighed the lager amounts of cocaine in to ounce bags.

Dunphy told gardaí that he collected the drugs from an anonymous source at a pre-arranged drop-off point and claimed he was paid only a few hundred euro for his work in cutting the drugs in to smaller quantities.

Asked by gardaí as to whether repackaging the drugs was his “job”, Dunphy replied: “Yeah, you could say that.”

Gda Heaney agreed with Mr Ciaran O’Loughlin SC, defending, that Dunphy’s position that he was the keeper of the drugs and did not own them was accepted by gardaí.

However Gda Heaney told Judge Frank O’Donnell that Dunphy’s case was “absolutely not” just a case of holding drugs.

Mr O’Loughlin told the court that Dunphy, who also played for Bohemians Football Club, was a budding young athlete whose plans to join the Air Corps were foiled when an old injury sustained during a childhood illness prevented him from passing a medical.

Mr O’Loughlin read aloud extracts of a letter Dunphy submitted to the court, where he apologised to the gardaí, the courts and the community where he lived.

Dunphy wrote in his letter that he entered a “dark place” in 2008, following the break-up of his parent’s marriage, his failure to join the Air Corps and the decision of Bray Wanderers not to renew his contract.

Remanding Dunphy on continuing bail, Judge O’Donnell said that he needed time to consider all the material before the court and adjourned the matter for sentencing on Friday, July 16.

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