Man involved in €1.1m cocaine case has sentence reduced

The Court of Criminal Appeal has reduced, from 10 to six years, the prison sentence imposed on man jailed for his part in a cocaine mixing operation worth more than €1.1m.

The Court of Criminal Appeal has reduced, from 10 to six years, the prison sentence imposed on man jailed for his part in a cocaine mixing operation worth more than €1.1m.

However the three-judge Court rejected appeals brought by two others who were involved in the same operation after holding that they had deliberately engaged in the preparation of drugs.

In March 2008, Padraig Lewis (aged 33), Rossvale Court, John Troy (aged 33), Ballynocken, and Gerard Daly (aged 28), Woodgrove, Ballyfin Road, all in Portlaoise, admitted having drugs contrary to Section 15 A of the Misuse of Drugs Act, at a house in Ballynocken on the July 2, 2005.

Lewis and Troy were given a 15-year jail sentence and Mr Daly was handed down a 10-year sentence by Judge Anthony Kennedy at Portlaoise Circuit Court.

All three appealed against the severity of those sentences, and argued that not all the mitigating factors have been taken into account before the terms were imposed.

The DPP had opposed the appeal given that all three were involved in what was a quite exceptional drug processing plant.

Today the CCA of Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, presiding, sitting with Mr Justice Roderick Murphy and Mr Justice Peter Charleton accepted that Gerard Daly had a lesser role in the operation, compared to the other two.

Daly, Mr Justice Hardiman added, was the lowly hired hand. The Court said that it was substituting Daly's sentence of 10 years imprisonment to one of six years plus four years suspended.

However the court said it was quite satisfied to dismiss the appeals brought on behalf of Troy and Lewis. Mr Justice Hardiman said they had entered into the drugs enterprise with their "eyes open".

The Court heard that the men were arrested by gardaí at Troy's home after a major Garda operation. The Gardaí seized cocaine at the house with a street value of €1.16m which was intended for supply.

During the search the Gardaí found more than five kilos of cocaine, mixing agents, mixing bowls, a weighing scales and a kitchen blender in John Troy's house.

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