Convicted Limerick drug dealer walks free after early release

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Patrick Scanlon was released from custody on Monday after the balance of his sentence was suspended

Patrick Scanlon was released from custody on Monday after the balance of his sentence was suspended

A CONVICTED Limerick drug dealer walked free from court this week after a judge agreed to suspend the balance of his lengthy prison sentence.

Patrick Scanlon, aged 58, originally from Loughill, was convicted by a jury in May 2014, of importing drugs, worth €80,000, 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 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.

The matter was re-entered last year after his lawyers sought to have the sentence reviewed.

In recent months, Judge James O’Donoghue has heard evidence from gardai who expressed concerns Scanlon would re-offend if released.

He also heard evidence from Mr Scanlon’s brother and from Stephen Quinn who was ‘duped’ by him into accepting the package containing the drugs.

Delivering his judgment on Monday, Judge O’Donoghue noted that while the Probation Service has some concerns, he was satisfied they can be “managed effectively”.

He directed Scanlon’s immediate release subject to him entering a bond and agreeing to comply with strict conditions.

Scanlon must live at an address in west Limerick and comply with all directions of the Probation Service. He was also ordered not to have any contact with members of the Quinn family.