No prison for man caught transporting €60k of cannabis in Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Circuit Court heard there was a “notable smell” emanating from the boot of the van

Limerick Circuit Court heard there was a “notable smell” emanating from the boot of the van

A MAN who was caught transporting almost €60,000 worth of cannabis in Limerick has avoided a prison sentence.

Patrick Foley, 29, from Brookville Avenue, Tipperary Town, had pleaded guilty to possession of around 3kgs of the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply at Ballysimon Road on January 6, 2016.

The drugs were recovered when a vehicle was stopped and searched around two miles outside the city.

Detective Garda Martin McCarthy told Limerick Circuit Court there was a “notable smell” emanating from the boot of the van which was travelling outbound when stopped. The cannabis was concealed inside a spare tyre which had been slit.

While Foley was not the registered owner of the vehicle, he admitted travelling by bus to Limerick earlier in the day to collect the van knowing there were drugs hidden inside.

Tom McGowan BL said his client cooperated with gardai and made “full and frank admissions” following his arrest.

He said the father-of-two, who has no great wealth, had developed a severe drug addiction following the death of his father and that his life was spiraling out of control.

He submitted Mr Foley was a “pawn in this operation” and that he would have been under pressure to drive the van from others higher up the chain.

Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell noted Mr Foley has been doing very well since he completed a residential treatment programme 18 months ago

He accepted there was an element of duress and noting the defendant’s difficult personal circumstances, he said he was willing to give him credit.

He imposed a three year prison sentence which he suspended for three years.