Four years for man found with prescription tablets worth €80,000

Four years for man found with prescription tablets worth €80,000

By Sonya McLean

A Dublin man caught holding over €80,000 worth of various prescription tablets has been jailed for four years.

Richard Rattigan (39) of Cooley Road, Drimnagh pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of both Zopiclone and Alprazolam for sale or supply at his home on September 27, 2017. He has nine previous convictions for public order and road traffic offences.

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Gardai discovered a total of 40,344 tablets with a street value of €80,688 in Rattigan’s home having secured a warrant to search it.

Garda Michael O’Sullivan told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Rattigan was questioned at his home and took responsibility for the tablets, indicating that they were for “depression, or whatever is wrong with me”.

He acknowledged that there was about 27,000 tablets, that he paid about €2,000 for the pills and that he didn’t have a prescription for them.

Rattigan said a quantity of cash, €1,370, discovered during the garda raid, came from “gambling, working and nixing”.

Judge Melanie Greally acknowledged a letter Rattigan had handed into court which expressed his remorse and shame for his behaviour. The judge said a letter from his mother, described him as a “good son” who is “a role model to his family”.

Judge Greally accepted that Rattigan was a good father and had no previous convictions for similar offences. She said she was taking into account his admissions and plea of guilty before sentencing him to four years in prison.

Garda O’Sullivan agreed with Brendan Grehan SC, defending, that Rattigan had two brothers who died, “one in tragic circumstances”, while another brother “has been out of circulation for years”.

The garda accepted that this offence is “a step-up” for Rattigan.

Mr Grehan said Rattigan is “relied on by the rest of the family”.

He handed a letter into court which Rattigan had written himself, which stated that he didn’t know what he was thinking at the time and described himself as being in “a dark place”.

“I feel remorse, shame and guilt from my actions,” he continued.

He said he was now in full-time employment and taking an active role in caring for his daughters.

Mr Grehan said his client’s life was at “a low ebb” and he was abusing tablets at the time. “He was prevailed upon because of those circumstances,” he told Judge Greally.

He said Rattigan has had to face “losses and difficulties that other people have not had to” and that he has been leaned on by other family members.

Counsel added that there was a lack of criminal offending at any serious level up until the point of Rattigan’s arrest.

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