Heroin dealer with 'an aversion to needles' jailed in Cork for having €30k of drug in attic

The judge imposed a sentence of four years with half of it suspended
Heroin dealer with 'an aversion to needles' jailed in Cork for having €30k of drug in attic

Judge Helen Boyle said that by selling heroin he had been spreading misery in Cork city. File picture

A 51-year-old Freemount man caught with over €30,000 worth of heroin in his attic in Cork city has an aversion to needles and has been smoking heroin for 20 years and now he has been jailed for two years.

Judge Helen Boyle said that by selling heroin he had been spreading misery in Cork city. The judge imposed a sentence of four years with half of it suspended in the case against Patrick O’Leary who was living in an apartment at Mount Vernon Terrace, St. Luke’s, Cork, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The 51-year-old pleaded guilty to having Diamorphine (heroin) for sale or supply at his home on May 21, 2020, when its street value exceeded €13,000, the threshold figure which allows for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years on conviction.

Detective Garda Jeremy Murphy testified that gardaí obtained a warrant to search the home of Patrick O’Leary on that date two years ago.

“During the search, we found heroin with a street value of €298 and a digital weighing scales,” Det. Garda Murphy said. That was in the accused man’s bedroom. In a search of the attic, they found over €31,000 worth of heroin.

Patrick O’Leary was arrested and taken to Mayfield garda station for interview. “He admitted having the Diamorphine by his bedside for his own use. He said he had no knowledge of the Diamorphine in the attic.

Addiction

“He is on heroin for over 20 years. He is unemployed. He is on disability allowance,” the detective said. Judge Helen Boyle was told that the accused has a gambling and drug addiction.

Det. Garda Murphy said: “He denied all knowledge of drugs in the attic when talking to the probation service. I did not believe the story he told the probation service.

“At the time he was a target of the Cork City divisional drugs unit. I believe he was totally in control of the drugs. He was the only one living in the apartment.” Defence senior counsel Ray Boland said the plea of guilty was of value to the prosecution and there was no forensic link between the accused and the drugs in the attic.

“He has long-term addiction problems with heroin, alcohol and gambling,” Mr Boland said. Det. Garda Murphy said: “I am not aware of any drink and gambling but I know about his addiction to heroin.” 

Judge Boyle noted from the probation report: “He is entrenched in drug lifestyle and shows no motivation to change.” Mr Boland SC submitted that this situation had actually changed.

“He has started on methadone which he is managing to reduce all the time. He is determined to never go on heroin again,” Mr Boland SC said.

Judge Boyle noted from the evidence that the accused was originally from Freemount, County Cork, and that “he only smokes heroin – he has an aversion to needles”.

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