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Saturday 3 December 2016

Drug-dealing dad felt like he was 'a hamster on wheel'

Raymond Smith brought up his siblings after his mum died
Raymond Smith brought up his siblings after his mum died

A dad-of-three who got involved in drug dealing after falling into debt felt like a "hamster on a wheel", a court has heard.

Raymond Smith (28) also began paying off his drug debtors with counterfeit cash.

On February 18 last gardai searched a house in Lucan and found €2,658 worth of cannabis as well as €3,220 and digital weighing scales. There were also €1,060 worth of false €20 notes.

The defendant was a trained concrete pattern imprinter, his barrister Jennifer Jackson told Blanchardstown District Court.

He had a very good work history and had brought up his younger siblings after the death of his mother.

Social services became aware of the situation when he was 22 and by that stage he felt like "a hamster on a wheel", Ms Jackson said.

"He was trying his best to keep his head above water and he felt the only way to keep up with the debt was to sell on small amounts of drugs to his friends." Ms Jackson added that Smith was at the "lower end of the ladder".

Pressure

"He came under severe pressure to pay people and would add the false notes to bolster the payments to keep them off his back," Ms Jackson added.

Smith was now "run off his feet" with work at his own company and his references showed he was a "trustworthy, polite young man".

Judge David McHugh asked Ms Jackson where Smith had got the forged notes.

"He bought them off somebody," she replied.

"This experience has nipped it in the bud, he's never looked back, he's paying his taxes - could you deal with the case in any way other than a custodial sentence?" Ms Jackson asked.

Judge McHugh said Smith had been "deep into drug taking and he was also dealing in drugs".

"He had all the paraphernalia for that," the judge added.

Judge David McHugh said Smith could avoid a six-month jail sentence by carrying out 240 hours of community service. He adjourned the case to June for a community service suitability report.

The accused, of Lally Road, Ballyfermot pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Tor An Ri Court, Balgaddy, Lucan.

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