herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Drug dealer invited gardai into hash den

JOBLESS: Man (22) used profits to pay his rent and bills

A YOUNG man caught with more than €1,000 worth of cannabis when gardai arrived at his house to charge him in relation to a previous drugs matter was selling the drug to pay his rent and household expenses.

Christopher Byrne (22) invited the gardai into his house, where they discovered more cannabis herb in his front room.

His solicitor, Fiona Brennan, said Byrne was asked to leave the family home when he was just 14 years old, and he was selling the drug to pay for his rent so he could keep a roof over his and his siblings' heads, a court has heard.

A judge ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to a date in April.

Byrne admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to two counts of possession of cannabis herb.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of having the drug for sale or supply.

The incidents took place at his home at Wellview Park, Mulhuddart on dates in September and November last year.

The total street value of the drugs was €1,850.

The court previously heard that the DPP had directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court.



SCALES

Sergeant Damien Galligan said gardai searched Byrne's home under warrant on September 13, 2009 and during the course of the search found cannabis worth €650.

Sgt Galligan said gardai returned to Byrne's house on November 26 to charge him for having the drugs.

The sergeant said Byrne invited gardai into the house, but he appeared nervous, and when officers followed him into the front room they found cannabis herb as well as plastic bags and a weighing scales.

This time the drugs were worth €1,200.

The court heard he has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said Byrne accepted responsibility for having the drugs, and was using the money to pay for his rent and household bills after he lost his job.

Ms Brennan said the defendant showed a "shocking level of naivity" to invite the gardai into his house when there was cannabis in his front room.

Judge David McHugh said he would accept jurisdiction of the matter.

Judge McHugh ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing until the end of April.

hnews@herald.ie

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