Teen caught with cocaine has sentence suspended

A then 17-year-old youth who "held cannabis and cocaine valued almost €32,000 for someone" and had a list of names with amounts of up to €5,000 marked against them has escaped with a suspended sentence.

A then 17-year-old youth who "held cannabis and cocaine valued almost €32,000 for someone" and had a list of names with amounts of up to €5,000 marked against them has escaped with a suspended sentence.

John Dowdall of Clareville Grove, Glasnevin began abusing cannabis when he was 13 years old.

Judge Frank O’Donnell at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said this was yet another case of someone beginning with cannabis and then coming before the court for serious crime.

"I’m not saying that everyone who does becomes an addict and moves to serious crime but consistently that is the situation and those who try to minimise the use of cannabis should be reminded of that," he said.

Dowdall pleaded guilty to having 18 bars of cannabis resin valued at €31,024 and cocaine valued €604 for sale or supply on March 28, 2005 at his home. He had not come to garda attention since then.

Judge O’Donnell noted that Dowdall was 17 years old at the time, came from a good family and had no previous convictions. Gardaí did not believe he was an addict but there seemed to be a conflict in the evidence abut his drug use in the light of what Dowdall told the Probation Service.

Dowdall handed gardaí a bag with the cocaine when they searched his house and the 18 bars of cannabis were found in a case in his bedroom. He told gardaí he was holding them "for someone".

Gardaí also recovered a list of phone numbers and names with amounts of €4,830 and €4,740 marked against some of them as being due for payment.

Judge O’Donnell imposed two concurrent three year prison terms on Dowdall and suspended them for five years on strict conditions.

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