Limerick man bids to suspend remainder of drugs sentence

Patrick Scanlon appearing at court on an earlier date

Patrick Scanlon appearing at court on an earlier date

A WELL-known restaurateur who is serving a lengthy prison sentence for importing almost €80,000 worth of cannabis from Spain has launched proceedings to have the remainder of his sentence suspended.

Patrick Scanlon, aged 57, who is originally from Loughill, was convicted by a jury in May 2014, of importing the drugs to an address in Pallaskenry on August 8, 2013.

The eight day trial heard he had “duped” an acquaintance into receiving a package in the post which he falsely stated was linked to a new restaurant venture.

The drugs were intercepted on arrival in Ireland prompting members of the divisional drugs unit to carry out a “controlled delivery” during which Mr Scanlon was identified as a suspect.

Following his conviction, the defendant was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment but this was later reduced to 11 years by the Court of Appeal.

Seeking to have the case re-entered and the remainder of the sentence reviewed, Anthony Sammon SC submitted the sentencing court is entitled in law to do so once an accused person has served at least half of the sentence.

While Mr Scanlon, who was previously convicted of possession of drugs worth more than €1.2million, has served just four years and three months of the 11 year sentence, Mr Sammon told Judge Tom O’Donnell he was entitled to factor in remission which, he said, equates to two years and nine months.

“The court can take into account remission. It is a right (for prisoners). Remission is there, it’s part of the system,” he said.

Mr Sammon added that his client, who was heavily addicted to drugs in the past, is making every effort in prison to “make amends and to improve himself” and that he had addressed his addiction issues.

While not opposing the application, Lily Buckley BL, prosecuting, said the law relating to reviewing such sentences “isn’t crystal clear”.

Commenting that he had a “lot of reading to do” Judge O’Donnell indicated he will deliver his ruling on November 27.

Mr Scanlon is serving his sentence at Loughan House - an open, low security prison - in County Cavan.

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