Told might not be in court if ‘something went wrong’
A HEROIN addict who swallowed a quantity of the drug to hide it from gardai when they searched his home, was told by Judge Tom O’Donnell that he might not have been in court if “something went wrong”. Jeffrey O’Donoghue appeared at the Circuit Court via video link, answering the charges of Garda David Boland, Roxboro Crime Investigation Unit, and was handed a 10 months prison sentence.
The court heard from Inspector Seamus Ruane that the DPP had consented to the summary disposal of the matter on the basis that the accused pleaded guilty. O’Donoghue entered a guilty plea on both the section 15 and section three charges contrary to the Misuse of Drugs act 1977.
O’Donoghue, aged 36, of 44 Oliver Plunkett St, St Mary’s Park, was at his home when gardai called with a search warrant, and upon his arrest was conveyed to Roxboro Garda Station.
After a period of time in detention, the accused “passed” the bag of heroin and following analysis, it was valued at €500, in the form of diamorphine
O’Donoghue made certain admissions that the drug was purchased to feed his addiction and to supply the habit of his girlfriend.
The accused also had some public order matters outstanding dating back to June 13 of this year, where Garda Keith McCarthy was on patrol in the Robert’s Street area of Limerick and found him highly intoxicated, incoherent and staggering.
Garda McCarthy asked the accused for his name and details and the court heard that O’Donoghue became “irate, violent and aggressive in front of members of the public”.
Inspector Ruane said O’Donoghue was currently in Limerick Prison having received an eight month sentence three weeks ago for a charge contrary to section 9 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990.
Previous convictions included fines for drugs in 2007, public order matters and the possession of a flick knife that warranted a three month prison sentence in the same year.
Solicitor John Devane said his client had an addiction to heroin and in the most recent past, had “his house burnt down around him,” and that he was in a better place in Limerick Prison.
Mr Devane added that the quantity of drugs was just for his client’s own use and to supply to his client’s girlfriend and that was the extent of the supply charge before the court. The court also heard since the accused was in prison, he was free from drug use.
Judge O’Donnell said there were very “serious aspects to the case” and that irrespective of the means, the drugs were still for supply to a “third party,” thus satisfying the charge.
He pointed out that O’Donoghue had several previous convictions, 38 in total, but credited the early plea and the steps that he had taken in the interim.
However, he did note the dangers and seriousness of ingesting the drugs to conceal them, noting that O’Donoghue “might not be here if something went wrong”.
For the section 15 Sale or Supply Charge, O’Donoghue was sentenced to 10 months in prison, backdated to July 30 last, when he was first taken into custody.
Judge O’Donnell took the section three possession of drugs charge into consideration.
For the Public Order Charge of Garda Kevin McCarthy, O’Donoghue was sentenced to three months in prison and other matters arising out of the Robert’s Street incident were taken into consideration. The sentence was also backdated