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Thursday 23 November 2017

Heroin man who fled garda station avoids spell in jail

David O’Neill said drug was ‘fake heroin to sell to junkies’
David O’Neill said drug was ‘fake heroin to sell to junkies’

A Crumlin man has avoided jail after escaping from a garda station where he was being questioned over a heroin seizure.

David O'Neill (27) claimed the heroin he had in his possession was not genuine and he wanted to sell "fake heroin to junkies on the street".

He had been caught with more than €3,000 worth of heroin which was hidden in his bedroom at a house on Hughes Road, Walkinstown.

O'Neill appeared before Dublin Circuit Court where he was to be sentenced after pleading guilty to being in possession of a drug with intent for sale or supply.

Nervous

He also pleaded guilty to unlawful escape from garda custody.

Giving evidence, Gda Michael Muldoon, of Sundrive Road Garda Station, told the court he stopped O'Neill in a white van outside the defendant's house on June 4, 2014.

Gda Muldoon said the accused appeared nervous and agitated, and concerns were raised about a number of medicine bottles in the vehicle.

O'Neill was detained in relation to a separate matter, and Gda Muldoon obtained a search warrant for the property.

Officers recovered a quantity of brown material in two plastic bags in O'Neill's bedroom during the search.

Analysis of the substance later determined it was heroin with a street value of €3,253.

Weighing scales and a tick list were also recovered.

The court heard that O'Neill claimed it was "fake heroin to sell to junkies".

While in custody at Sundrive Road, the defendant was being taken from a cell to an interview room when he fled out of a fire escape.

He was apprehended shortly afterwards on Crumlin Road by Gda Muldoon after a foot chase and returned to custody.

The court heard he was afraid he would be in custody "all night".

He also claimed that the heroin seized was "store-bought powder".

O' Neill had 46 previous convictions, the majority of them for road traffic offences.

He had one previous conviction for possession, dating from August 2009.

Defence counsel told the court that his client had been living a "chaotic life" at the time of the offence and had not come to "adverse garda attention" since.

Judge Patricia Ryan applied the Probation Act on condition that O'Neill engage in a number of programmes and with the employment services.

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