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Dopey drugs courier 'rang gardaí when he lost €40k of cocaine'

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The cocaine was worth €40k

The cocaine was worth €40k

The cocaine was worth €40k

A Dublin drug courier who lost a €40,000 bag of cocaine in Cork was so panicked he is believed to have phoned gardaí to report it missing.

Darren Barnwell (20) was handed a four-year suspended prison sentence for what a judge described as "an unusual crime".

He admitted possession of cocaine for sale or supply.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told he panicked when on a train at Kent Station and suddenly realised his bag was missing. He disembarked but was not allowed to reboard it to look for the bag.

Detective Sergeant Kieran O'Sullivan said Barnwell became incensed with security staff at Kent Station at 2pm on August 16, 2018, in relation to the lost bag.

Gardaí later received a phone call in respect of a missing bag - with the call believed to have been made by Barnwell.

The defendant then remembered he had gone into a shop on nearby MacCurtain Street.

Mr Barnwell returned to the shop and was reunited with his bag, which had been discovered minutes earlier by staff.

They had not inspected the contents of the paper bag involved, the court heard.

Det Sgt O'Sullivan said that gardaí - alerted to the missing bag by the phone call - stopped Barnwell on the street outside the shop.

They became suspicious given Barnwell's panicked state and insisted on examining the bag involved.

When they opened the paper bag they discovered a large quantity of cocaine which, on analysis, was found to have a street value of €40,000.

Barnwell admitted he had made the journey on the train from Dublin bringing the cocaine with him.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was told Barnwell of Blackhall Parade, Dublin, had no previous criminal convictions.

On the date of the offence Barnwell was working as a courier who was to deliver the cocaine to another individual.

Sgt O'Sullivan said in the intervening period since the incident Barnwell had not come to the attention of gardaí.

Exceptional

Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was "an unusual crime".

"I am justified in imposing a fully suspended sentence. It is exceptional that he has no previous convictions or come to garda attention since," said the judge.

Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed a sentence of four years which he suspended in its entirety on condition that Barnwell keeps the peace and is of good behaviour for a period of four years.


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