Mother-of-two escapes jail term for holding 1000 'ecstasy' tablets

A woman who was 15-years-old when caught with 1,000 "ecstasy" tablets she was holding for her boyfriend has received a one year suspended sentence from Judge Frank O’Donnell at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A woman who was 15-years-old when caught with 1,000 "ecstasy" tablets she was holding for her boyfriend has received a one year suspended sentence from Judge Frank O’Donnell at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Sabrina Dunphy, now a 21-year-old mother of two, had no previous convictions and was under the care of the Health Board when she was caught with the tablets in 2001.

She told gardaí she was holding them for her then 19-year-old boyfriend, Gareth Hickey, because he told her girls were "less suspicious and less likely to be searched by gardaí".

Dunphy, with an address at Turnbery, Baldoyle pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs worth IR£ 10,000 (€12,697) in Portmarknock on October 22, 2001.

Detective Garda Brian Pentony said that Hickey, now 25 years old, with an address at Briarfield, Kilbarrack, received a four year suspended sentence from Judge Michael White in December 2002 after he pleaded guilty to the same charge. He had no previous convictions.

Judge O’Donnell said it was a very sad case involving a young and vulnerable girl.

"What she did was wrong. I am going to give her a large wrap on the knuckles, as hard as I can," he said before he suspended the sentence on condition that Dunphy keep the peace and be of good behaviour for five years.

Det Gda Pentony told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Carroll BL, that Dunphy was searched at Malahide Garda Station after confidential information led to the arrest of her and Hickey.

She immediately took responsibility for the bag of "ecstasy" tablets that was found on her and said she had agreed to hold them for Hickey.

Det Gda Pentony agreed with defence counsel, Mr Sean Gillane BL, that Dunphy "had come into the orbit" of her boyfriend and had not come to garda attention since the offence.

Ms Yvonne Devine, a children’s residential unit care worker with the former Health Board, told Mr Gillane that Dunphy and three of her siblings had been in care since 1995.

She said Dunphy left full-time care when she turned 18 but Ms Devine said she keeps regular contact with her, meeting her three or four times a week.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.