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Saturday 14 December 2019

Mother 'went off the rails' after her brother's murder

Emer Byrne was found with tablets worth more than €500
Emer Byrne was found with tablets worth more than €500

A mother-of-three caught dealing a "significant" amount of sedative drugs on the streets had gone "off the rails" at the time, a court heard.

Emer Byrne (37) had more than €500 worth of benzodiazepine tablets along with cash, phones and bolt cutters when she was stopped by gardai.

Giving her an 18-month suspended sentence, Judge John Hughes noted the defendant was also caught shoplifting clothes "on a commercial scale".

Byrne, of Killester Court, Killester, pleaded guilty to the sale or supply of drugs and theft.

Dublin District Court heard at 12pm on May 17, 2018, gardai were on patrol in a known drug- dealing area in the north inner city when they saw a woman talking to other members of the public.

When they asked to search Byrne, she became nervous and began "rooting in her bag", the court heard.

She was taken to Store Street Garda Station where she was searched and found in possession of 288 Alprazolam tablets in trays of 12, worth €576, as well as €132 cash, two mobile phones and the bolt cutters.

Tough

On December 17, 2017, she went to TK Maxx in the Ilac Centre and removed items of clothing worth €462.

The defendant had a "tough upbringing" and a brother was murdered a number of years ago, her lawyer said.

She "went off the rails," became homeless, took tablets and was "essentially all over the place".

Byrne was now living in family hub accommodation and a letter was presented to court.

Alcohol and drugs had clearly been part of her life but there were "worlds between where she was then and where she is now", her lawyer said.

Judge Hughes noted she had been given a suspended sentence on January 23 and was drug dealing on May 17. "That is the reality of it," he said.

He noted the extenuating circumstances in her medical report and there now seemed to be some stability in her life.

The judge imposed two consecutive nine-month sentences but suspended them in full for a year, on condition she completes a drug-rehabilitation course.

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