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Tuesday 12 November 2019

Daniel superfan has her 10-year cocaine sentence cut in half

Molly Sloyan met singer Daniel O’Donnell after her reaction to a Late Late Show impersonator went viral. Photo: macmonagle.com
Molly Sloyan met singer Daniel O’Donnell after her reaction to a Late Late Show impersonator went viral. Photo: macmonagle.com

A Daniel O'Donnell superfan has had her 10-year prison sentence for involvement in a cocaine 'factory' cut in half by the Court of Appeal.

Molly Sloyan (26), from Kinsale, Co Cork, previously made headlines when her reaction to a Daniel impersonator on The Late Late Show went viral.

Last year, she was one of four people who pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Seascape, Dromleigh, Bantry, on November 26, 2017.

The value of the high-purity cocaine was estimated to be €70,000.

Sentencing her to 10 years with the final three suspended, Judge Sean O Donnabhain said the group was involved in a sophisticated system of extracting cocaine from fabric imported from Brazil.

It was, in effect, a factory, he added.

Sloyan had admitted renting a house through Airbnb, hiring a car and buying the chemicals used to extract the cocaine from the fabric.

Judge O Donnabhain said she gave significant help to the group and "to say she was the girlfriend [of one of the co- accused] does not do justice to the criminality involved".

Sloyan successfully appealed against the severity of her sentence yesterday, with the Court of Appeal holding that the 10-year headline tariff was "simply too high".

Mr Justice John Edwards said the court would give a written judgment with detailed reasons for its decision on October 8, but Sloyan was "entitled to know her fate".

She was resentenced to five years' imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended.

Counsel for Sloyan, Michael O'Higgins, said the drugs came in fabric which was reduced through use of a solvent and turned into sludge, then powder.

There was no "chemical wizardry" involved, and it would be wrong to describe the process as "cutting edge".

Mr O'Higgins said there were four people involved in the operation, and Sloyan was "on the periphery".

He said the "visible" tasks carried out by her - the renting of the house, the hiring of the car and the buying of the chemicals over-the-counter - were usually allocated to the weakest links in the chain and she was not involved in any extraction.

Mr O'Higgins said Sloyan was the youngest of the group and had an "association" with the "main participant".

Psychological

He said she had no relevant previous convictions, had pleaded guilty early, had co-operated with gardai and a detailed psychological report set out the adversities in her life.

He submitted that the issue fell into the "very small number" of cases where a wholly suspended sentence could have been justified.

The court heard evidence from a case manager with the Department of Justice's out- look programme for the re- integration of offenders into society.

The witness told Mr O'Higgins that the programme only accepts the "best of the best" candidates.

Sloyan was deemed to be a suitable candidate following an assessment, according to the witness, and was engaging with its requirements.

Mr Justice Edwards, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said the court was impressed with Sloyan's efforts toward rehabilitation.

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