A COUNTY Limerick man who fled to Britain after he was caught ‘red handed’ transporting drugs worth more than €130,000 avoided a prison sentence.
John Paul Mulready, aged 28, who is originally from Ballybricken, Grange pleaded guilty to possession of quantities of cocaine and cannabis on the outskirts of Kilmallock on June 10, 2010.
During a sentencing hearing, Sergeant Michael Brennan said the drugs were recovered when gardai stopped a car being driven by the defendant after it was observed leaving a house which was under surveillance.
Judge Carroll Moran was told that a number of hours earlier the defendant’s brother - 29-year-old Peter Mulready - had been arrested after the house at Radharc na Coille, Kilmallock was searched.
Small quantities of cannabis, along with drugs paraphernalia were found in a child’s pink lunchbox in Peter Mulready’s bedroom which he admitted was his “smoke box”.
Further quantities of cannabis resin and cannabis herb were found in a rucksack, which was located in a wardrobe.
Sgt Brennan told Michael Collins BL, prosecuting, that following Peter Mulready’s arrest, his girlfriend contacted his brother (John Paul) who then travelled to the house. The court heard he proceeded to remove a large quantity of drugs, which gardai had failed to locate during the earlier search.
The court hard when gardai searched John Paul Mulready’s car a block of cocaine was found in a toiletry bag and that a second block was found in a holdall bag.
Almost a kilogramme of cannabis was found concealed in a Sky box, which was wrapped in birthday paper while a smaller quantity of cannabis was found stuffed inside a children’s toy.
Sgt Brennan said the defendant, who was extradited from the UK last year, told gardai he had intended disposing of the drugs.
He confirmed that Peter Mulready was the primary target of the garda operation and that his brother had played a lesser role in the offence.
Brendan Nix SC said his client had travelled to the house “to see if he could be of assistance” as blood is thicker than water.
He added that Mr Mulready has no previous convictions and is “unlikely to be heading out an embarking on a life of crime”.
Imposing sentence, Judge Moran noted that Peter Mulready was the main culprit and that he had received a lengthy prison sentence earlier this year.
After being informed that John Paul Mulready spent eleven months in custody following his extradition, he imposed a two year prison sentence suspending it for six years.