A CHRONIC heroin addict who tried to conceal a large quantity of drugs internally was sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
Noel Franklin, aged 25, who has an address at Pinegrove, Raheen pleaded guilty to possession of heroin worth more than €4,000 for the purpose of sale or supply.
Limerick Court was told the drugs were seized on February 25, 2012 after the defendant was observed by gardai in the front passenger seat of a car at O’Callaghan’s Strand.
Detective Garda David Baynham of the divisional drugs unit said he saw the accused in the car which was being driven by another man.
The detective garda said he approached the car and signalled for it to stop but that it initially failed to do so.
He then said he saw Noel Franklin lean over while still in the car and “conceal something up his back passage”.
Franklin was arrested under drugs legislation a short time later and taken to Henry Street garda station where 23 hours later he passed a package which, the court was told, contained €4,120 worth of diamorphine (heroin).
Sgt Donal Cronin, prosecuting, told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions had consented to the case being heard in the district court on condition Franklin entered a guilty plea.
Solicitor John Devane said his client, who has more than 100 previous convictions, is a chronic heroin addict who “did not have the greatest start in life”.
He added that Franklin, who is currently serving a prison sentence for separate offences, entered the criminal justice system at an early age.
While his client has a large number of previous convictions, Mr Devane said it was the first time he had been charged with such a serious drugs offence.
Imposing sentence, Judge Eugene O’Kelly commented that Franklin had made “quite an effort” to conceal the drugs and he noted that he would probably have received a lengthy prison sentence had he been convicted in the Circuit Court.
Given the quantity and nature of the drug seized, Judge O’Kelly said the offence was at the higher end of the spectrum.
He imposed a nine month prison sentence.