Two Dublin market traders have been spared jail sentences after getting caught selling more than 100 different types of prescription drugs from their stall.

The medication packs included Alzheimer’s disease and blood-thinning medication, Dublin District Court was told.

Liam Pacelli, aged 36, of Whitestown Crescent, Blanchardstown, was spared a criminal record and was given the benefit of the Probation Act after donating €1,000 to charity.

Co-defendant Robert Burke, aged 33, of Westway View, Corduff, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service work. Each man must pay €2,000 in legal costs.

Judge John O’Neill said the drugs could have caused someone’s death. However, he noted positive probation reports were furnished to the court and both men had pleaded guilty.

Pacelli was spared a conviction because he had a clean record, while Burke had prior convictions for minor motoring offences and a public order offence. Burke had also been given the Probation Act a number of years ago for obstructing a garda.

Judge O’Neill heard that a garda seized the packets of medicine from their stall at the Balbriggan Market, north Co Dublin, on May 4, 2014. They had various household goods on sale, as well the medicinal products with a handwritten sign saying “two for €5”. They had sold about €200 worth before the garda spoke to them.

The garda seized 450 packets of medicinal products and contacted the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). There were more than 150 different types of medicine, of which 108 required a doctor’s prescription.

Ciaran Wright, an enforcement officer with the HPRA,

agreed with prosecution counsel Brian Gageby that the medicines appear to have been for the Irish market but the HPRA have not established if they were originally stolen from a pharmacy or a wholesaler.

Defence counsel Aoife McMahon asked the court to note the positive probation reports. She said father-of-one Pacelli trains a youth football team and plans to study for a degree but a criminal conviction would have catastrophic effect on his career. Burke, a father of three, is an electrician and needs to be vetted for work.


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