Man found with over €13k worth of drugs says he was used as a ‘Gilly’ to pay off drug debt
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Man found with over €13k worth of drugs says he was used as a ‘Gilly’ to pay off drug debt

A Dublin man has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for possessing cannabis and cocaine worth just over €13,000, reports Claire Henry.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on April 2, 2020, plain clothes gardaí were on patrol in the Clondalkin area when they observed James Maher (32) of 18 Kilronan Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, cycling with an Adidas backpack down Deansrath Avenue.

Garda Kieran O’Neill told the court that gardaí attempted to stop Maher, but he failed to stop. Maher was seen dropping the Adidas backpack in the front garden of a property and made off.

Gardai caught Maher in the property’s back garden, where he was also seen discarding a package which was found to contain cocaine valued at €797.

Cannabis worth €4,528 was found in the Adidas backpack along with weighing scales and deal bags.

Maher was arrested and brought to Clondalkin Garda Station, where he made full admissions to gardaí.

Caroline Latham, BL, prosecuting, told the court that on July 6, 2020, a search warrant was issued for the home of Maher.

During the search, a lunchbox containing cannabis, a cannabis wrap and a weighing scale was found in an exterior gas meter unit with drugs valued at €7,084.

The court heard that €2,300 was found in a jacket pocket, and a further €5,820 in a wallet. Two mobile phones were also seized.

Once cautioned, Maher took full ownership of the drugs and the cash.

During a garda interview, Maher said he was being used as a “Gilly” to pay off a drug debt.

On August 16, 2020, a further search was carried out at the home of Maher.

At the time of the search, Maher was not home but his partner and children were. Maher was contacted by his partner and returned to the home.

Cannabis worth just over €700 was found in the rear bumper of his partner’s car, and €2,190 in cash and a weighing scale were found on the property.

Maher pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of drugs for sale or supply. The court heard that Maher has 17 previous convictions.

Oisín Clarke, BL, defending, told the court that his client co-operated fully with gardaí, took full responsibility for all drugs and cash seized and pleaded guilty at the earliest possible time.

Maher began using cannabis at the age of 16 and, by the age of 19, had developed into a daily user.

The breakdown of a relationship and not being allowed to spend time with his child escalated his drug use and left him with a drug debt of €10,000.

Maher handed a handwritten letter into court, which acknowledged that it was “his own actions that have put him in this situation”.

Judge Elma Sheahan said there was a repetitive pattern of offending by Maher, and he was on bail at the time of the August 2020 seizure of drugs.

Judge Sheahan outlined the accused early guilty pleas, his full cooperation with gardaí, and his good relationship with his partner and children as mitigating factors.

Judge Sheehan sentenced him to four years in prison, with the final six months suspended for 12 months under strict conditions.

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