Couple who stored €550k of cannabis in their attic agree to be of 'good behaviour' for rest of suspended sentence
A COUPLE who stored cannabis, estimated to be worth between €320,000 and €550,000, in the attic of their Dublin home have agreed to be of good behaviour for the remainder of a seven year suspended prison sentence they received in October 2011.
They gave the undertaking to the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) which ruled that sentence was only unduly lenient because it did not contain a condition relating to supervision in accordance with probation reports.
Keith Jervis (36) and Therese Doyle (35) of Rosewood Grove, Lucan, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession for sale and supply of 45 kilos of herbal cannabis in 15 bags found by gardai in a crawl space of an attic area off a bedroom.
The couple, who have two young sons, made immediate admissions and directed gardaí to where the drugs were hidden.
The Circuit Court heard they told gardai they were approached outside a local shop and asked to store an undisclosed amount of cannabis for a short period of time in their home for a "modest reward" of €300.
Ms Doyle said she had been asked to to hold a couple of packets but both she and her partner were shocked when a man turned up at their home with what she described as "a vanload".
The people involved with the drugs were dangerous and they had no option but to accept once they were delivered. There had also been a
subsequent pipe bomb attack on their home and gardai accepted this was part of the intimidation used by the people behind the drugs.
The DPP appealed the sentence imposed on them arguing the Circuit Court Judge Martin Nolan was not justified in suspending the entire of the seven years.
The DPP argued the judge did not mention the fact that the mandatory sentence for possession of in excess of EURO 13,000 worth of drugs is life unless it would be unjust to do so in the specific circumstances of the case. Nor did he (judge) decide where the spectrum between the maximum and lowest possible sentence lay.
He also did not make it clear what he was treating as exceptional and specific the circumstances of this case entitling him to depart from the mandatory minimum sentence, the DPP said.
The couple's lawyers opposed the appeal.
A three judge CCA said it had come to conclusion, not without some hesitation, that the sentence was not unduly lenient merely because it was suspended in its entirety.
Nonetheless, the court believed it was unduly lenient in that the sentence was passed without the imposition of conditions.
It therefore required, and was given, undertakings from the couple to be of good behaviour for the remaining years of their suspended sentence in accordance with probation reports.