A drug addict who returned to Ireland from Germany to face a charge of possessing cannabis valued €106,000, even though the case had previously been dropped, has received a seven year jail sentence.
Sean Kelly (aged 30), with addresses at Barnnaville Park, Ballyfermot and Allenton Avenue, Ballycragh, Tallaght was born a drug addict as both of his parents were taking drugs at the time, defence counsel, Mr Martin Giblin SC (with Mr Alan Toal BL), submitted.
Kelly pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having possession of 8.38 kg of the drugs for sale or supply on April 3, 2002.
Judge Katherine Delahunt suspended the last three years of the sentence after hearing that Kelly returned to Ireland from Germany to face the charges even though the case had been dropped by gardaí and that he had not absconded bail by moving abroad.
Judge Delahunt said she took into account that he was no longer addicted to cannabis or cocaine and that he had "cut all ties with former colleagues who deal in this heinous trade".
Mr Giblin told Judge Delahunt that Kelly’s mother died when he was 16-years-old and his father had moved to Germany when he was still a child.
Garda Kieran O’Neill told Mr Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, that while he was on patrol he spotted Kelly carrying a dark coloured bag. He shouted at him to stop but he ran and threw the bag into bushes.
He caught Kelly a short time later after chasing him and his colleague picked up the bag which contained 35 slabs of cannabis resin. Kelly immediately admitted that it was drugs in the bag, telling Gda O’Neill "its about four-five kilos of gear".
Kelly had 11 previous convictions dating back to 1995 including a possession of drug charge for which he received a €1,270 fine.
Gda O’Neill agreed with Mr Giblin that Kelly was brought before the District Court on April 3, 2002, but the charges were later dropped and he moved to Germany to live with his father.
He accepted that O’Neill later came back to Ireland and contacted the garda station stating he wanted to answer the charge. He hadn’t absconded bail by moving abroad.
Gda O’Neill further accepted that Kelly’s outlook was now positive, he hadn’t come to the attention of gardaí since and if he continued in this manner he was unlikely to come before the courts again. He went to Germany to escape the people involved in the operation rather than the gardaí.
Gda O’Neill said he was not aware that Kelly was in serious trouble for not having delivered the drugs and that his life was in threat. Gda O’Neill agreed, however, that he would expect Kelly would have had to pay for the drugs that were confiscated by gardaí.
Mr Giblin told Judge Delahunt that Kelly had a serious drug addiction at the time and his life was in "a downward spiral". He had since overcome his drug addiction and cut his ties "with these drug associates entirely".
Mr Giblin added that Kelly returned to Ireland not only to face up to the charges but to try and make a contribution to his six-year-old son’s life.