A cocaine addict who admitted transporting €16,000 worth of cocaine from Limerick to the Blarney area of Cork was jailed for 10 years yesterday, as it was his second time being caught for such a serious drugs offence.
Detective Sergeant Lar O’Brien said the drugs squad got a confidential call about drugs being transported in a particular car on that day.
The car belonged to Stephen Hawkins of 50 Spriggs Rd, Gurranabraher, Cork, and he was stopped after a surveillance operation was mounted on the Limerick to Cork road on July 4, 2015.
The car was identified at Watergrasshill and followed to Ballymartin, Blarney, Co Cork, where gardaí stopped it.
Hawkins was alone in the car and the cocaine was in a bag in the boot, with a smaller quantity in a pouch in the car.
He told investigating gardaí initially that he did not know what drug he was carrying or its quantity. Later, he admitted knowing it was cocaine.
Det Sgt O’Brien said the accused told them he got a call that morning at work asking him to move the drugs and he thought about it and decided he would.
He initially said he was to be paid a small amount of money to transport the cocaine but also said it was to be offset against a drugs debt which he had.
In 2011 he was given a suspended six-year sentence for a similar offence of having drugs in his possession.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin yesterday sentenced him to 10 years for having the drugs for sale or supply at Bally-martin.
The judge said he would review the sentence in five years but he told the accused that if he wanted to have any chance of being released in 2021 he would have to show that he had taken every step available to rehabilitate while in prison.
“Everything is to play for,” the judge told Hawkins.
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said Hawkins had rehabilitated previously and went on an intensive residential programme in Coolmine in Dublin. However, he relapsed following the suicide of his best friend and the death of his father.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved