Sunday 24 February 2019

Mum ‘ordered’ to take drugs to prison to pay inmate son’s debt

Judge Bryan Smyth gave Janine Devlin (35) a six-month suspended sentence.(stock picture)
Judge Bryan Smyth gave Janine Devlin (35) a six-month suspended sentence.(stock picture)

A mother-of-three who tried to smuggle cannabis into Mountjoy Prison while visiting her son had been “ordered” by another person and was acting out of fear, a court has heard.

Janine Devlin (35) was told there would be repercussions if she did not agree to take the drugs into the prison.

Judge Bryan Smyth gave her a six-month suspended sentence.

Devlin, of Beechwood Drive, Marley’s Lane, Drogheda, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs.

Dublin District Court heard she entered Mountjoy Prison at 2.40pm last October 12.

A prison officer searched her and found cannabis herb worth €250, a garda sergeant said. She was detained and made full admissions when interviewed.

Devlin had a number of previous convictions, but none for drug offences.

She has three children, two under 10, her barrister Donal Pattison said. She had been visiting her eldest child, who was in custody at the time.


He had run up a debt and Devlin was approached by a third party and “essentially ordered” to take the drugs into Mountjoy.

“There would have been repercussions if she didn’t comply,” Mr Pattison said.

This approach had happened on Devlin’s doorstep. She was now in a better position than she had been for a number of years, Mr Pattison added.

A letter from her GP was presented to the court.

The seriousness of the offence was “not lost on” Devlin, and the prospect of a custodial sentence was “very real and terrifying” to her.

“She acted out of fear, not only for herself and her son but for her young children,” Mr Pattison said.

He asked Judge Smyth to exercise leniency on Devlin’s behalf.

The judge said it was a “very serious matter”, but he took into account everything said in mitigation and suspended the sentence for two years.

Devlin was placed on a bond in her own sum of €100, with no cash lodgment required.

The conditions are that she exhibits good behaviour and commits no offences during that time.

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