A bodybuilder who got involved in the sale of anabolic steroids in Cork pleaded guilty to the offences yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Gerard O’Brien described the practice as dangerous and irresponsible and was particularly concerned about evidence that the active component of two of the drugs could not be identified on forensic examination.
Liam Quinn, aged 32, of 5 Evergreen Close, Evergreen St, Cork, was interested in bodybuilding from his teenage years and began to use anabolic steroids as a means to growth promotion and performance enhancement.
He eventually got involved in supplying them to a circle of friends with similar interests, said Donal O’Sullivan, defending, yesterday. He also stated that Quinn no longer used such substances.
After hearing all of the evidence and that the accused had no previous convictions, Judge O’Brien said he would give him the benefit of a dismissal under the Probation of Offenders Act and recommended that he pay €400 to the Merchants Quay Project, which offers homeless and drug-related services.
The judge said he was applying the probation act with some degree of hesitation and he said this order should not be taken as a precedent.
Mr O’Sullivan said the defendant had an exemplary work record in the Defence Forces.
“If he does manage to keep his position he will face a disciplinary process in the Defence Forces,” he said.
Det Garda Paul Leahy testified yesterday about the background to the case.
He said gardaí went to the home of the accused with a search warrant on April 9, 2016. The accused was present at the time. He was asked from the outset if he had anything illegal in his house.
He handed over two plastic containers in the house and large plastic bag from a car parked outside.
The containers and bag contained suspected anabolic steroids which were sent off for analysis.
Gardaí seized an iPhone and two logbooks detailing the sale of anabolic steroids over several months up to April 2016. The phone contained group texts about prices and new steroids becoming available.
Det Garda Leahy said Quinn admitted ownership of the steroids at the scene. He told gardaí he had 20 customers. He said about 30% of what was seized was for supply purposes and the remainder was for his own use. The steroids were valued at €1,200.
Quinn told investigators he was making €400 to €500 per month through this activity.
The active ingredient could not be identified in two of the products when examined in the state laboratory, Det Garda Leahy said.
“They could not determine what was in the drugs,” he said. Judge O’Brien was particularly concerned about this.
Det Garda Leahy said that when he formally arrested and charged the accused man with the three counts at Cork District Court yesterday, the defendant made no reply to the charges.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved