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Monday 18 December 2017

Mum (35) sneaked drugs into jail after 'terrifying threats'

Michelle O'Shaughnessy of Belmayne Park South
Michelle O'Shaughnessy of Belmayne Park South

A mother-of-three agreed to smuggle drugs into a prison because she was under threat from a man whose car had been scratched by her friend, a court heard.

Michelle O'Shaughnessy (35) was caught with nearly 1,000 designer sedative tablets in the visiting room at Mountjoy jail after coming under "unbearable pressure".

When the man's car was scratched, he allegedly told O'Shaughnessy to take the pills to an inmate as compensation.

Judge Anthony Halpin applied the Probation Act, leaving her without a criminal record because of her "courage" in how she had dealt with the case.

O'Shaughnessy, of Belmayne Park South, pleaded guilty to taking drugs into the prison on May 4 last year.

Dublin District Court heard that the accused was seen on CCTV placing a package into a person's jacket.

O'Shaughnessy was escorted into the search area and the package was seized by a prison officer.

Embarrassed

It contained 970 Nitrazolam tablets worth around €800.

O'Shaughnessy had no previous convictions and was embarrassed.

The whole thing began when a friend of O'Shaughnessy accidentally scratched a man's car, her solicitor said.

There was no problem initially, but she was approached after that and asked if she would take the package into prison.

The accused was "very apprehensive" but there were "threats to her and threats to the friend", her lawyer said.

She committed the offence because she was put "under such unbearable pressure".

O'Shaughnessy's door was kicked in, her solicitor alleged. She was "terrified of the threats" and got herself into an "extreme situation".

Judge Halpin said the acc-used had been "courageous enough".

He took account of the direct threats the defendant was under and the "unique situation" she found herself in.

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