Wicklow man handed four-year jail sentence after €60 drug job

A Wicklow resident who was paid €60 to hold nearly half a million euro worth of heroin has been sentenced to seven years in jail, with three suspended, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

Matthew Leyden (aged 21) of The Walk, Downshire Park, Blessington pleaded guilty to possession of heroin for sale or supply at his then home in Suncroft Drive, Tallaght on February 17, 2011. He has no previous convictions.

Garda Donal O’Sullivan told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that Leyden was on the dole and in debt for a car loan when a man offered to pay him €200 a week to store the drugs in his house.

Leyden said he had only been paid €60 so far but that he had not been threatened. He denied ever being involved in the selling of drugs.

Gda O’Sullivan agreed with a suggestion from Paul Comiskey O’Keefe BL, defending, that his client was a “vulnerable person”.

Mr Comiskey O’Keefe told Judge Patricia Ryan that his client, a father-of-one, was under financial pressure at the time of the offence as he was trying to pay off this car loan.

Judge Ryan had adjourned the sentence after hearing evidence last March to allow for the preparation of a Probation Service report.

She noted this report concluded that Leyden had been taken advantage of by someone who was “more street wise” than he was and it was accepted that he has not come to Garda attention since.

Judge Ryan sentenced Leyden to seven years in prison but suspended the final three years on the condition that he liaises with the Probation Service upon his release from prison.


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