A CONVICTED drug dealer who was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment five years ago will spend Christmas at home after a judge ordered his immediate release.
Thomas Ryan, aged 32, of Knockgreane, Old Pallas received the ten year sentence in December 2010 after he pleaded guilty to possession of a significant amount of cannabis for sale or supply.
The drugs, worth around €61,000, were seized when gardai searched a house at the Grove Pallasgreen on July 30, 2008.
Mr Ryan received the mandatory minimum prison sentence as it was his second conviction for possession of a large quantity of drugs.
However, because his own drug addiction were raised in mitigation during the sentencing hearing, the case was listed for review last week – in accordance with provisions contained in drug trafficking legislation.
Anthony Sammon SC said his client has attended various courses and participated in a “wide range of activities” in prison and that he is in a “good stable phase of recovery”.
He said he has done “very well indeed, if not miraculously” and he added that Mr Ryan has also been attending counseling over the past five years.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told applications to review such sentences are very rare and he commented that it was the first time he had across such an application.
The judge noted the “very impressive list of achievements” by the defendant since he was sentenced in 2010.
He said the progress he has made has been “absolutely and utterly spectacular” and that it was fantastic to see Mr Ryan’s level of achievement in prison.
He noted he has participated in courses for Word Processing, Occupational First Aid and Communications. He also noted the positive contents of a report from his addiction councillor.
“This young man deserves every credit,” he said adding he had no hesitation in suspending the balance of the ten year sentence on condition he not reoffend and that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service for two years.