A COUNTY Limerick man who sold heroin and cocaine to undercover gardai avoided a prison sentence after a court was told he is now drug-free and unlikely to reoffend.
In April of last year, Michael Walsh, aged 40, with addresses at Coolanoran, Newcastle West and in Askeaton pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of sale or supply on dates in 2010 and 2011.
During a sentencing hearing, Garda Maria Kiely said members of the divisional drugs squad mounted an undercover sting operation after they came into possession of a mobile phone number which was being used by Walsh to deal drugs.
On two occasions, they bought “25 bags” of heroin from him while on the third occasion, they bought €50 worth of cocaine, which Walsh boasted was like “rocket fuel”.
John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said while the amounts of drugs were small, Walsh was involved in the “systematic dealing of drugs”. The court heard the defendant told gardai he was “away on another planet at the time”.
Brian McInerney BL, said his client was a chronic heroin addict and was selling the drugs to feed his habit. He described Mr Walsh as “being at the bottom of the pit” adding that he was “aimlessly drifting from one kip to another with homelessness in between”.
During a review of the case this week, Judge Moran was told a report prepared by the Probation Service was “very very favourable” and that the father-of-one is now drug free.
Imposing sentence the judge said a prison sentence was warranted but that he was willing to give Mr Walsh a chance. He imposed a three year prison sentence, which he suspended for three years.