A father of three who hid almost €470,000 worth of heroin in a wardrobe in his home has been sentenced to eight years in prison by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Anthony Lawlor (aged 21), with an address at Claddagh Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin worth €466,160 for sale or supply at the home he shared with his girlfriend in
Croftwood Grove, also Ballyfermot on January 8, 2007.
Judge Delahunt said Lawlor had taken in the drugs, bagged them and was intending to sell them on for someone else for receipt of a sum of money, that had yet to be decided, in order to ease his financial problems.
She accepted evidence from Detective Garda Eric Canning that Lawlor was not at the highest level of the operation but didn’t accept that he was "at the bottom rung of the ladder" because she said he had "expertly concealed a significant amount of heroin" and it was unlikely that he would be given such a quantity if he was not trusted.
Judge Delahunt accepted that Lawlor had given the gardai "some assistance" by taking full responsibility for the drugs before she suspended the last 18 months of the sentence.
Det. Gda Canning told Mr Bernard Condon BL, prosecuting, that the garda dog "Jake" found the drugs hidden in a compartment behind slats of wood in a wardrobe in Lawlor’s home. Other drugs paraphernalia such as weighing scales, gloves, a knife and plastic bags were also discovered.
Lawlor told gardaí he was holding the drugs for somebody else but they had not agreed how much he was to get paid for it. He added that he would be expecting to make between €3,000 or €4,000.
He said he got a phone call to go pick up the drugs but he wasn’t sure if the person he later met and collected the stash from was actually the person who phoned him.
Lawlor had eight previous convictions which included public order offences.
Det. Gda Canning agreed with Mr Gerry O’Brien SC, defending, that his client was approached and asked if he "needed a few quid". He was told his role would be to store a stash of heroin.
Mr O’Brien told Judge Delahunt that Lawlor was devoted to his three children and he was doing various courses "to try to improve his situation."