A drugs mule caught with a stash of heroin in the course of a garda surveillance operation at a hotel car park in Cork was yesterday jailed for three years, with the last two years suspended.
Judge Gerard O’Brien imposed the total sentence of one year on Robert Cambridge at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Detective Garda Liam Finn said on December 10, 2014, gardaí went to the car park of the Silver Springs Hotel in Tivoli, Cork, to carry out surveillance.
Some time later, gardaí observed a silver Ford Mondeo being parked. After 30 minutes, a taxi arrived and a man and a woman got out and went to the Mondeo.
A brown paper Dunnes Stores bag was handed to Cambridge. He and a woman, Ciara Murphy, walked away together with the package.
Gardaí then emerged from their concealed positions and arrested the duo and the man with whom they had the drugs transaction.
On analysis, the drugs were confirmed as heroin.
Robert Cambridge, aged 25, of 112 Comeragh Park, The Glen, Cork, and Ciara Murphy, aged 22, of 37 Arderrin Way, The Glen, both pleaded guilty to charges of having heroin with a street value greater than €13,000 for the purpose of selling or supplying.
Murphy was remanded in custody for another month to allow time for a probation report, as Cambridge was jailed.
Judge O’Brien said: “All the parties will be aware of the immense scourge of drugs on the people of Ireland, in particular on people like Mr Cambridge.”
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said the accused had several drugs convictions but for having drugs for his own use rather than for supply. He said the accused went with Murphy with a view to protecting her.
Mr O’Sullivan said: “He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity albeit the gardaí caught him red-handed.
“He acted as a courier. He was in a hole and had to do this as a way out of it.”
Judge O’Brien said: “To use a colloquialism, he was a mule.”
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