herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Drug dealer forgot about bomb hidden in bedroom

A man caused a number of his neighbours' homes to be evacuated when the army bomb disposal unit was called in to remove a pipe bomb from his house, a court has heard.
A man caused a number of his neighbours' homes to be evacuated when the army bomb disposal unit was called in to remove a pipe bomb from his house, a court has heard.

A man caused a number of his neighbours' homes to be evacuated when the army bomb disposal unit was called in to remove a pipe bomb from his house, a court has heard.

Gardai had arrived at Ross Whelan's home in Ballymun to search it for drugs when they discovered the device under floorboards in a room adjacent to his bedroom.

They also discovered just over €2,000 worth of heroin on a bedside locker.

Whelan (23), of Wood- hazel Terrace, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of heroin for sale or supply and possession of an explosive substance on July 16 last year.

He has 14 previous convictions which included theft, handling stolen property, possession of drugs, public order offences and an 18-month sentence for assault.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was a significant amount of heroin and the pipe bomb had caused a certain degree of concern.

protection

He accepted that Whelan claimed he had the bomb for his own protection, but commented that it was "an unusual mode of protection".

Judge Nolan said Whelan had "some insights and some intelligence" before he jailed him for four years.

Gda Liam Mangan told Cathleen Noctor, prosecuting, that the house was searched following at tip-off at 8pm, but gardai had to force entry into Whelan's bedroom as it had been locked from the inside.

He said the device was a pipe which had been packed with explosive powdered substances.

It did not have a detonator, but was confirmed as an explosive following forensic testing.

Whelan accepted that the 13.3 grammes of heroin was his and said he had had the pipe bomb for five years.

He claimed he had not made it, but had it for his own protection and had forgotten about it.

Whelan said he had buried the bomb and had dug it up only two weeks before the search and hidden it under the floorboards.

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