Dealer handed heroin over to gardai

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

'Period of flux': John Herbert
A MAN who pleaded guilty to dealing heroin at Limerick District Court was going through a difficult separation at the time, his solicitor said.

A MAN who pleaded guilty to dealing heroin at Limerick District Court was going through a difficult separation at the time, his solicitor said.

Damien Carmello, 31, of Dunmoylan, Shanagolden, County Limerick, and formerly of O’Callaghan Avenue, Kileely, admitted possession of diamorphine and possession for sale or supply on November 15, 2011.

Sgt Donal Cronin said that when gardai had stopped Carmello’s vehicle at The Crescent on that date, the accused had handed them over six deals of heroin with a street value of €150. He readily admitted the drugs were for sale or supply.

The court heard that among Carmello’s 27 previous convictions was one of possession of an article, namely a pickaxe handle, for which he received a five-month prison sentence, suspended for 10 months, in December 2012. He had claimed on that date that he had the article to do some work in his sister’s garden. Carmello also has a previous conviction for possession of drugs dating back to 2003, the court heard.

John Herbert, solicitor, said in relation to the drug offence in November 2011 that his client had “very stupidly” agreed to do something he had been asked.

The offence had occurred at a time when his client, a father-of-two, was in “a period of flux”, having gone through a separation that was “to say the least a very torrid affair”.

It had been the evidence of the state that Carmello had handed the drugs over to the gardai and made no attempt to hide them. There had been no repeat offending since 2011, Mr Herbert said.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly sentenced Carmello to five months in prison, which he suspended for 10 months, on condition the accused remain of good behaviour over that period.

The charge of simple possession was taken into consideration.