A CONVICTED drug dealer who admitted selling heroin to an undercover garda during a major covert operation in the city centre two years ago has avoided a prison sentence.
Mark Crawford, aged 35, of Butterfield Close, Old Cork Road pleaded guilty at Limerick District Court to possession of heroin, for the purpose of sale or supply, at Parnell Street on August 17, 2010.
Sgt Donal Cronin, Henry Street, said the value of the drugs recovered was €25.
He said Crawford has a number of previous convictions for drugs offences and that he received a two year prison sentence at Limerick Circuit Court in 2005 for an offence, which occurred in June of the previous year.
Solicitor Turlough Herbert said his client had “acted as a middle” man on the day and that he was not the person who handed the drugs to the undercover officer.
He acknowledged that Crawford had a number of serious drugs convictions but he said he has learned his lesson and that he has not come to the attention of gardai since August 2010.
“He has turned the corner,” he said adding that his client’s partner is expecting the couple’s second child in the coming months.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he was “particularly concerned” that Crawford had been involved in the supply of heroin even though he had received a two years prison sentence for drugs offences in 2005.
However, noting that the offence happened more than two years ago, the judge imposed a six month prison sentence, which he suspended for twelve months.
In doing so he warned the defendant that the sentence “will immediately kick in” if he is convicted of anything over the next twelve months.