Courts

Saturday 26 July 2014

‘Black sheep’ of family avoids jail term for storing 4,000 ecstasy tablets

Jessie Magee

Published 18/11/2013|17:35

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A man described as the “black sheep” of his family has been given a suspended sentenced for storing over 4,000 ecstasy tablets in the house he shared with his grandmother.

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Robert Traynor (28) of Braemor Road, Churchtown pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing drugs for sale or supply at his grandmother's home on August 8, 2011.

Garda David Bunn told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that Traynor, his mother and grandmother were all at the house when gardaí arrived with a search warrant.

They found thirteen ecstasy tablets in a bedroom, before Traynor brought them to the kitchen where he revealed 4,200 tablets in a bag concealed behind a kick board.

They also found a weighing scales which Traynor said he used to measure cocaine.

The drugs were estimated to be worth €42,910 based on a street value of €10 each.

However Gda Bunn said they could also have been valued at €7 or €4 each depending on whether they were sold individually or in bulk.

Traynor told gardaí he was storing the drugs to pay off a debt incurred because of his cocaine addiction.

“I owe them €1,000 and I've no way of paying it,” he said, adding that the person he owed money to had made “slight threats” to him.

Gardaí arranged for Traynor's mother and grandmother to leave the house during the search as he did not want them to know that he was storing drugs.

Gda Bunn agreed with Ronan Kennedy BL, defending, that gardaí would not have found the 4,200 tablets if Traynor had not unscrewed the kickboard and pointed them to the hidden stash.

Gda Bunn said Traynor was “on the bottom rung of the ladder” in the drug trade.

“But he was on the ladder,” noted Judge Mary Ellen Ring.

Mr Kennedy said Traynor was “something of a black sheep” in his family and that his father was the president of a multinational company.

The court heard that Traynor's family had moved to France when he was 14 but that he hadn't settled, and had returned to live with his grandmother at the age of 16.

“He was too immature to deal with freedom,” said Mr Kennedy BL, describing his client's “slippery slope” into drug addiction.

Traynor dropped out of college and regularly abused cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine.

However Mr Kennedy said since his arrest two years ago, Traynor has made “remarkable changes” and has completed a degree in business and marketing. He is now working full-time and studying social science at DBS.

He is drug-free, has no previous convictions and has completed a residential rehabilitation course in the Rutland Centre.

Letters were presented to the court from Traynor's employer, college lecturers and from his parents, who thanked gardaí for their sensitivity in shielding his grandmother from what was going on.

Judge Ring commented that there is a perception among young people that ecstasy is not a dangerous drug because it is not addictive. She warned that it can lead to many dangers which the threats against Traynor prove.

She sentenced him to four years, suspended in full for four years.

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