A MOTHER-of-one who carried nearly €120,000 worth of drugs because she had to pay a credit union loan has been given a five-year suspended sentence.
Joanne Lyons (33) of Kilkiernan Court, Cabra West, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Navan Road, Blanchards-town on April 8, 2009.
Detective Garda Mick Kearney told Fiona McGowan, prosecuting, that Lyons was arrested as part of an operation targeting drugs for sale or supply in the west Dublin area.
Det Garda Kearney told the court when her car was stopped Lyons said straight away: "It's in the boot".
He said there were black plastic bags with 9.9kg of herbal cannabis in the boot of the car and after analysis it was said to be worth €119,500.
Lyons was interviewed at Blanchardstown Garda Station and said she knew it was illegal but she had loans from the credit union and some other loan. Det Garda Kearney said she told gardai she had a bad year and had to repay a €20,000 loan but was sorry she got involved.
The detective garda told the court she had no previous convictions.
Det Garda Kearney agreed with Bernard Condon defending, that Lyons had co-operated from the start, identified where the drugs were and pleaded guilty at an early stage.
Mr Condon said she had a hair salon and employed staff but lost the business when she fell back into her drug addiction after the break-up of the relationship with her daughter's father.
He told the court that his client had managed to get herself drug-free and was now attending a course in Dublin Business School.
Judge Desmond Hogan said it was a very serious offence which would usually warrant 10 years imprisonment but said he could impose less.
He said she was leading a chaotic life at the time and said it was most unlikely that she would ever come before the courts in the future.
Judge Hogan said if she was now drug free and if she continued in this direction, tshe would have a good life.
He said she had helped other addicts and was of use to society and he would not impose a custodial sentence. He handed down a five-year sentence to be suspended for five years.
"By her own efforts, she has lifted herself out of the mire she was in, who am I to disrupt that?" he said.