State seeks to activate Limerick drug dealer’s suspended term

The State is seeking to activate a suspended prison sentence handed down to a Limerick drug dealer who was at the centre of a political storm last year after he was the subject of representation by Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins.

State seeks to activate Limerick drug dealer’s suspended term

Widowed Hugo Porter, of St Patrick Villas, Castleconnell, appeared before Limerick Circuit Court yesterday where an application to activate the suspended jail term was adjourned until tomorrow, to allow him time to arrange childcare for his four children.

The 41-year-old received a three-year suspended prison term at Limerick Circuit Court last year after he pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of cannabis worth almost €18,000 for sale or supply.

Sentencing Porter in October 2014, Judge Carroll Moran insisted a letter written by Mr Collins urging for leniency had no influence on his decision to impose a suspended sentence.

The case came to public attention after it emerged that Mr Collins had written a letter on behalf of Porter, who is the sole carer of his four children following the death of his wife last year.

The TD was widely criticised for writing the letter which was seen as interfering with a judicial matter.

The letter was handwritten on official headed note paper and included Mr Collins’ photograph.

It was not read out in court but was submitted as part of mitigation by Porter’s defence team.

Mr Collins later expressed regret and admitted that writing the letter had been a mistake after he was accused of trying to interfere with judicial independence.

Last Friday at Nenagh District Court, Porter pleaded guilty to the theft of two steel containers from a property in Newport, Co Tipperary, in December 2014.

The case was adjourned and referred to Limerick Circuit Court for a Section 99 application.

Rebecca Treacy, defending, told the court yesterday they were ready to proceed with the application.

However, she requested an adjournment to tomorrow as her client is a widowed father of four young children and he is trying to “sort out childcare”.

Judge John Hannan agreed to the adjournment.

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