herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man caught with 670 valium tablets under the stairs

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA

A father-of-four caught with nearly 700 valium tablets in his home had become addicted to the drug, which he had been prescribed after a heart attack.

Keith Weldon (36) admitted having the drug for sale or supply. He had been taking up to 30 tablets a day after he developed a "huge tolerance".

Judge David McHugh said Weldon will kill himself if he continues to take the daily dose he says he is taking. He sentenced him to four months in prison.

The defendant admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to possession of diazepam, or valium, for sale or supply at his home on May 6 last year.

Gda Brian Masterson said that during the course of a search, gardai found 670 diazepam tablets in a bag in a press under the stairs. The street value of the 10mg diazepam tablets was €670.

Weldon had 11 previous convictions, including several for drug-related offences.

Cocaine

Defence lawyer Jennifer Jackson said the prior convictions dated back nearly a decade and followed the death of Weldon's younger brother at a time when the defendant was addicted to cocaine.

Ms Jackson said Weldon suffered a heart attack two-and-a-half years ago and was prescribed a small dose of diazepam by his doctor.

However, she said the defend- ant built up a "huge tolerance" for the drug and ended up taking up to 30 tablets a day.

A state solicitor told the court that 30 tablets of 10mg of diazepam was "an incredible amount" to be taking, and asked the gardai to outline where the tablets were found.

Gda Masterson said they were found in a white plastic bag under the stairs, but that Weldon's prescribed medication was in a biscuit tin in the kitchen.

Ms Jackson said Weldon, who was in receipt of disability allowance, was admitting to a supply charge in circumstances where his partner suffered from chronic back pain and he would have given a few tablets to her at times.

Ms Jackson asked the judge not to send Weldon, who immediately appealed, to jail.

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