Woman pleads guilty to slipping drugs to prisoner

ECSTASY tablets and cannabis were slipped to a prisoner as he was being escorted from a courtroom to a holding cell at Cork District Court, but gardaí observed the transaction and yesterday the woman who passed the drugs admitted the crime.

Edel Coffey, 25, was seen passing €280 worth of illegal drugs to a prisoner on December 7 last year as he was being brought from the courtroom to the holding cell at the courthouse on Anglesea Street.

“She placed three items into the pocket of the prisoner. Gardaí who were on prison escort duty observed this and took possession of the items,” Inspector Pat Lehane told Judge Con O’Leary yesterday.

On analysis it was found that the various packets contained €200 worth of ecstasy tablets and €80 worth of cannabis resin.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said Coffey was pleading guilty to the charges of having drugs for supply to another, arising out of the incident. He said the defendant did not have an explanation for why she supplied the drugs to the male prisoner on the day.

“She is 25 now and she has been suffering serious depression since the age of 17,” he said.

Coffey, with addresses at Ardcullen, Hollyhill, Cork, and Hollywood Estate, Blarney Road, Cork, has been attending a project dealing with drug and alcohol addiction since this offence was committed.

“She knows she is potentially facing a custodial sentence. Previously her life was in turmoil. She cooperated with the gardaí as soon as this offence was detected. She has been petrified as to what was going to happen.

Judge O’Leary fined her €200 and imposed a five-month prison sentence, suspended on condition that she keeps the peace and does not use illegal drugs for the next two years.

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