Woman sees jail sentence reduced for cannabis conviction

Woman sees jail sentence reduced for cannabis conviction

A 29-year-old woman will be released from jail early following her successful appeal against sentence for possession of €28,000 worth of cannabis.

Sarah Coll (aged 29), with a last address at Valeview Gardens, Finglas, had pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply in Dublin on September 24 2012.

She was was sentenced to six years imprisonment with the final three suspended by Ms Justice Carmel Stewart at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on January 11, 2013.

In the Court of Appeal today, Coll successfully appealed her sentence on grounds that it was too severe.

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said Coll was arrested along with two other men at the Deadman's Inn in Co Dublin on September 24, 2012 following a surveillance operation by gardaí.

Following her arrest, cannabis worth €28,262 was subsequently found in her bedroom by gardáí.

Mr Justice Sheehan said Coll had accompanied one of the men to the Deadman's Inn where a “major drugs operation” took place.

Coll was tried together with the two men, who both pleaded guilty to the “more serious offence” of possession of drugs worth more than €2m, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

The sentencing judge had stated that Coll was clearly involved in the major drugs operation at the Deadman's Inn on the date in question.

As a result, the sentencing judge erred in principle by taking into account matters for which Coll was not being prosecuted, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

The Court reduced Coll's sentence of six years imprisonment to a sentence of four years with the final two suspended. She was required to enter into her own bond of €100, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour following her release from prison.

Mr Justice Sheehan said Coll had no previous convictions and had overcome a serious addiction problem.

The court noted Coll's powerful response to the situation.

She had successfully completed a rehabilitation program and a report from Dóchas women's prison stated that she had used her time in prison to help people suffering from addiction, Mr Justice Sheehan said.


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