herald

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Drug dealer claims €2k seized by State was 'a gift from ex'

Jill Devine (45) pictured outside Drogheda District Court.
Jill Devine (45) pictured outside Drogheda District Court.

A woman convicted of dealing in prescription drugs had nearly €2,000 forfeited to the State after a judge ruled the money was the proceeds of crime.

Jill Devine (45) claimed the €1,980 she had when arrested was money her ex-partner gave her to fix her house after "three men in balaclavas broke in and smashed the house up".

She claimed she was in "chronic debt", was not living a lavish lifestyle and there was "no way I made the money from supplying Xanax".

The police property application to have the money forfeited to the State was brought by Superintendent Andrew Watters.

Garda Ursula Clarke told Drogheda District Court she arrested Devine on June 26, 2016, and found on her €1,980 in cash, seven blister packs of medication, a pack of white powder, and an iPhone.

She was charged and received a 12-month suspended sentence for the sale and supply of drugs last September.

Anxiety

Gda Clarke said she retained the money as she believed it was the proceeds of crime.

Devine, of Marian Park in Drogheda, Co Louth, told the court the money came from her ex-partner.

She claimed she was prescribed Xanax for anxiety and depression after she had an operation on her head.

"My house was smashed up and I did have tablets on me that day I was arrested. My ex lives in Edinburgh and he flew home and gave me money to replace the doors and windows and maintenance for five weeks. I couldn't leave the money at home as the windows were smashed."

She said the seven packets of Xanax she had when arrested were her own.

Devine said she was on €185 a week and the money was not the proceeds of drug dealing.

"I wouldn't make €2,000 from Xanax," she said.

Judge John Coughlan said he "preferred the Garda evidence".

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