herald

Thursday 19 April 2018

Man with €150k of drugs 'stood drinking juice' as house burned

Judge Nolan noted that the defendant was a man who has been “addicted all his life to drugs”. Stock picture: Getty
Judge Nolan noted that the defendant was a man who has been “addicted all his life to drugs”. Stock picture: Getty

A Dublin man who stored more than €150,000 of prescription and illegal drugs at his home was found drinking a glass of orange juice in the kitchen while the building was on fire, a court has heard.

Gda Neill McGrath was responding to a call about the house fire when he discovered Jason Kearney (37) in the kitchen of the smoke-filled property.

Gda McGrath said he had to shout at Kearney several times to get out of the house because he kept walking back into the kitchen.

Once the fire brigade had extinguished the flames, the garda saw tablets on a kitchen counter and later got a warrant to search the home for drugs.

During the raid, he found €104,604 of phenazepam tablets and €41,180 of zopiclone pills - which are both prescription only - as well as €7,400 of the illegal trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP) in zip-lock bags in the tumble dyer.

Father-of-three Kearney, of Foxborough Rise, Lucan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing TFMPP for sale or supply at his home on May 27, 2015.

Serious

He has 15 previous convictions and is in custody until 2023 for a serious drugs offence, after being sentenced last month.

Yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan imposed a three-year sentence, to run concurrently to the jail term he is currently serving.

Gda McGrath told Gerardine Small, prosecuting, that Kearney made admissions in interview after his arrest and revealed he was to receive €1,000 for storing the tablets.

The garda agreed with Michael Bowman, defending, that his client had been "clearly on some type of intoxicant" when he was walking around with a glass of orange while his house was on fire.

Gda McGrath accepted that Kearney was unsure what type of drugs he was holding and that he had put them in the tumble dryer because it was the handiest place.

He further agreed that Kearney had a significant history of drug abuse and drug offending.

Judge Nolan noted that the defendant was a man who has been "addicted all his life to drugs".

He accepted that Kearney was to get a reward for holding the tablets, but said it was unjust to impose a consecutive element to the sentence he was already serving.

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