A six-year jail term was imposed yesterday on a man who claimed he only resorted to couriering €40,000 worth of drugs because of a debt he incurred for losing a stash of cocaine.
The man faced the possibility of a mandatory ten-year sentence for having €40,000 worth of cocaine, cannabis herb, and cannabis grass, at a house in Cork.
Peter Hanley, aged 33, of 13 Castlegreine Park, Boreenmanna Rd, Cork, previously pleaded guilty to having the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply at an address at Fitzgerald Place.
Because the drugs have a greater value than the threshold figure of €13,000, it carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in jail unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that only with some reluctance was he departing from that sentence. He said Hanley, who had previous drugs convictions, had been given chances before.
Even at this late stage, Hanley saw himself as a victim and the excuse lay with drug addiction or with pressure he was under to pay a drugs debt.
A sentence of eight years was imposed with the last two years suspended.
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