DPP move to activate suspended sentence of Limerick drug dealer fails

A move by the DPP to activate a suspended prison sentence given to a Limerick drug dealer failed yesterday.

DPP move to activate suspended sentence of Limerick drug dealer fails

A letter from Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins on behalf of the criminal became the centre of a political storm last year.

Hugo Porter, aged 41, a widowed father of four, of St Patrick Villas, Castleconnell, was convicted of drugs offences and given a three-year suspended prison term at Limerick Circuit Court on October 20, 2014. He had pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing cannabis worth over €17,500 for sale or supply.

Mr Justice Carroll Moran, at the sentencing, said a letter from Mr Collins in reference to Porter had no influence on his decision to impose a suspended sentence.

In a separate case, Porter appeared before Nenagh District Court on November 6, where he was convicted of theft of two steel containers from a property in Newport, Co Tipperary, in December 2014. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Pursuant to section 99 of the Criminal Justice Act, the district court judge ordered Porter be sent back before Limerick Circuit Court for it to consider activating the suspended sentence.

At Limerick Circuit Court yesterday, Michael Collins, for Porter, opposed the State’s application to reactivate the suspended sentenceas there would be an appeal of the Nenagh District Court conviction.

Michael Murray, for the State said there was an anomaly in the legislation, but a tortuous route may have to be embarked upon before this is concluded.

Refusing the State application to invoke the suspended sentence, Judge John Hannan said Mr Collins had indicated Porter had a chance of succeeding with an appeal against the conviction at the Nenagh court.

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