A YOUNG man who was arrested following a crime spree in Glin ‘passed’ dozens of prescription tablets while in garda custody, a court has heard.
Billy Heaphy, aged 27, of The Meadows, Bridge Road, Listowel pleaded guilty to possession of 31 Florazepan tablets for the purpose of sale or supply on July 15, 2012.
Garda Patrick Cronin told Limerick Court that while the defendant was being questioned at Askeaton garda station in relation to driving, theft and assault charges he became unwell and was taken to the then Mid Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle.
He said an x-ray showed the defendant had something hidden internally and that he subsequently ‘passed’ a plastic bag containing the tablets.
Garda Cronin told the court the following day, the defendant made full admissions in relation to the tablets, which had a street value of €62.
“He admitted they were his and that they were for supply to others,” he said.
Solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client, who has 51 previous convictions, has a difficulty with drugs and was “so intoxicated he did not know what had happened”. Nine of Mr Heaphy’s previous convictions are drug-related, the court heard.
He said Mr Heaphy, who comes a very good family, has previously served a nine month prison sentence in relation to the offences in Glin for which he was being questioned on the date.
In August 2012, Newcastle West Court was told Mr Heaphy stole a van from Main Street, Glin and the “drove off dangerously at speed” to a house at Killeaneymore, Glin where he got out and “attempted to gain entry” to the house with a stolen shovel.
Following his arrest, he assaulted two gardai by hitting them on the head.
In relation to the tablets, Mr McCarthy said his client had taken a risk by ingesting them in the manner he did. “If it (the bag) had burst, he would have been in trouble. He was running a very serious risk,” he said.
Imposing sentence, Judge Eugene O’Kelly commented: “Not only was he passing them on, by ingesting them he was running an extreme risk that could have cost him his life.”
The judge requested a Community Service Report indicating that if Mr Heaphy completes 120 hours of Community Service, he will not impose a prison sentence.