A SINGLE mother who had almost €30,000 worth of illict drugs at her home on the outskirts of the city has avoided a prison sentence.
Natalie Wall, aged 32, of Rostrevor Close, Caherdavin, has admitted having significant quantities of cannabis herb and Alprazolam (Xanax) tablets for the purpose of sale or supply.
The drugs were seized when her home was searched by gardai on June 24, 2016 during an intelligence-led operation.
Previously, Detective Garda David Boland told Limerick Circuit Court that cannabis herb with a street value of around €20,000 was located at the house along with Alprazolam tablets worth around €9,000.
The cannabis, he said, was found in two packages which were hidden in a bedroom and in the attic of the house. Almost 4,500 Alprazolam tablets were located in the kitchen of the house.
The detective said Ms Wall made admissions at the house telling gardai she was storing the drugs to “clear and outstanding bill” of around €350.
She made further admissions following her arrest.
Mark Nicholas, SC, said his client was not selling the drugs and that she had helped gardai “in every means possible she could”.
He said criminal elements knew she was vulnerable and that she had no choice but to cooperate.
Since the seizure, Ms Wall has secured part-time employment and is no longer using drugs.
Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell said Ms Wall’s admissions and guilty plea were mitigating factors he had to consider.
He also noted her poor financial circumstances at the time as well as the “considerable element of duress” which existed.
Noting the positive contents of a probation report, the judge imposed a three-year prison sentence – suspending it in its entirety for three years.
”I don’t want to see you here again….that’s your choice,” he said as he addressed the defendant.
The drugs seized at Ms Wall’s home are to be destroyed.