A 14-year-old boy who was caught holding over €25,000 worth of cocaine has been given a suspended sentence by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The now 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later told gardaí that he had been paid €50 to store the drugs which were found behind his bed, in a vent in his room and in the rafters in a garden shed.
Defence counsel Mr Garrett Baker BL, told Judge Delahunt that it was “shocking case” which he said demonstrated that “drug barons are now willing to stoop so low to get children as young as 14 to store their drugs”.
The teenager pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at his Dublin home on July 24, 2007. He had no previous convictions.
Judge Delahunt noted the teenager had turned his life around with the help of his family and said she believed it would better for him to continue his rehabilitation in the community with the help of The Probation Service.
She imposed a three year sentence which she suspended for five years on strict conditions.
Garda Patrick Monaghan told Mr Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that the accused would not tell gardai who he was holding the drugs for because he claimed he was in fear of them.
He agreed with Mr Baker that the boy had been holding the drugs for someone who could have been as much twice his age and his “youth and naivety had been exploited”, to some degree.
Gda Monaghan confirmed to Judge Delahunt that the boy had used the term “no comment” during garda questioning after the judge expressed her surprise that a young teenager should know to say that.
Mr Baker said that his client has two further charges pending in the Children Court, which are not drug related, but he said he has since attended the probation service.
Mr Baker said his client’s parents are at his “wit’s end” and very concerned about the behavioural issues of their son which had been referred to in a probation report before the court.