herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Dad-of-two caught with €4,000 worth of party pills

MENACE: Head shops should be shut down, says judge

A FATHER-of-two caught with €4,000 worth of BZP, which until recently was legally sold in head shops, has claimed he was "holding" it for another individual.

Kieran O'Leary (26) said he was battling a cocaine addiction at the time he was asked to hold the drugs as a favour for another person.

However a judge said that O'Leary's story about holding the drugs for another person was "Walter Mitty stuff".

Judge Patrick McMahon added his voice to the growing calls to for head shops to be shut down, saying that "with a bit of luck" they will be closed soon.

The judge sentenced O'Leary to eight months in prison but suspended it for a year on account of his previous good record.

O'Leary, of St Philomena's Park in Ballycoolin, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to two counts of possession of amphetamines and benzylpiperazine, known as BZP or party pills. He also admitted to having BZP for sale or supply.

Married

Garda Sgt Damien Galligan said gardai searched a property at St Philomena's Court, Ballycoolin under warrant on September 19 last and found €4,000 worth of BZP and €187 worth of amphetamines.

The court heard that O'Leary has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said O'Leary is married with two children.

He added that at the time of this offence, he had been battling a cocaine problem, but he was now clean, and working with his drugs counsellor.

Mr Fleming said BZP was freely sold in head shops until recently, when it was declared an illegal drug.

He said O'Leary was holding the drugs for another individual.

Asked by Judge McMahon why O'Leary shouldn't go to jail, Mr Fleming said it was his belief that the substances were "at the lower end of the drugs scale".

Judge McMahon fined O'Leary €200 and also sentenced him to eight months in prison.

However, he said that he would suspend the prison sentence since the defendant had no previous convictions.

hnews@herald.ie

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