herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

Mum 'exploited by criminals' had over €108k in her wardrobe

Janet Morrissey
Janet Morrissey

A woman who was caught with nearly €120,000 in cash while acting as a bookkeeper for serious criminals has received a five-year suspended sentence.

Judge Gerard Griffin ack- nowledged that Janet Morrissey (35) was "ripe for exploitation" by criminals as she had a cocaine addiction and heavy debts at the time.

Morrissey, a single mother with an address in Meile An Ri Drive, Lucan, was found by gardai with €9,670 in cash in her coat pocket outside her home on April 4, 2016.

A sum of €108,130 was found in a wardrobe in her bedroom.

Essential

Morrissey pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of €117,800 in cash, which was the proceeds of crime. She has no previous convictions.

Judge Griffin said Morrissey provided an "essential service" to drug dealers, but he noted her co-operation and said she was unlikely to come to future garda attention.

He further acknowledged that she was now drug-free and had a full-time job.

The judge said he had given particular consideration to a letter written by Morrissey's father when suspending the sentence for five years, saying to her: "If we see each other again, it won't be a happy experience."

Morrissey told gardai she had been given a phone by a man named Craig and she collected money from various people when she received texts from a person she called Boss. She then sorted it into bundles of €5,000 and €10,000.

She told gardai she had been doing this for four or five weeks, though the ledger showed it had been going on for longer, the court heard. Morrissey was paid €600 a week for handling the cash.

When asked if the money was the proceeds of crime, Morrissey said she did not know and never asked questions.

Defence barrister Roisin Lacey submitted that Morrissey had dealt with a "considerable amount of death" in her life, including a miscarriage at the age of 17 and the death of two partners.

She said her client voluntarily went into rehab last year and was now alcohol and drug-free.

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