Wednesday 7 December 2016

Grandfather's Alladin's cave included €500k of drugs, stolen NCT and insurance certs and a garda uniform - court

Jessica Magee and Fiona Ferguson

Published 28/10/2015 | 21:18

A DUBLIN grandfather caught with an “Aladdin's cave” of over half a million euro worth of drugs, hundreds of stolen NCT and insurance certs, ammunition, stolen camera equipment and a garda uniform has been jailed for five years.

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Richard Daly (55) will begin his sentence after he completes a four year reactivated prison term he is currently serving for drugs offences.

Daly of Oliver Bond House, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts including possession of drugs for sale or supply, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of stolen garda uniform and of other stolen goods at Huntsman's House, Ballymount Cross, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 on September 11, 2013.

A customs officer carrying out a random spot check at a storage facility in Dublin in 2013 smelled cannabis and saw Daly stopping at a particular unit.

Daly initially said he owned a neighbouring unit but when asked to open it, he had the wrong key.

Officers asked what was in the first unit and Daly replied, “Things that shouldn't be in it, you would be surprised...a bit of hash, a bit of weed and a few tablets”.

When gardaí arrived at the scene with a search warrant, Daly opened the door and said, “Just let's get it over with. Everything in the lock-up is mine.”

Judge Desmond Hogan imposed concurrent sentences totalling ten years and suspended the final five years.

Daly is currently serving a four-year sentence for possession of drugs which had been fully suspended at the outset, but was reactivated earlier this year. The five years imprisonment on the new offences will be consecutive to his current prison term.

Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, described the lock-up as a “virtual Aladdin's cave”. Gardaí seized a total of €522,952 worth of drugs including cannabis herb, cannabis resin, heroin, amphetamines and cocaine.

Detective Garda Jerome Twomey said the cannabis herb was not packaged for sale and had been dumped into the storeroom.

Daly told gardaí on arrest that the herb was bad quality and he was holding it for return. However the court heard the herb still retained its market value of €358,210.

Gardaí also seized a total of 93 rounds of various ammunition suitable for semi-automatic pistols, revolvers and rifles. It included 66 rounds of .38 calibre ammunition for revolvers, branded “Israeli military industries”.

Gardaí also discovered 129 stolen blank NCT certificates and 98 stolen blank FBD insurance certificates.

Items of a garda uniform belonging to Garda Aisling Tydings were also found including handcuffs, a tie, tie-pin and a garda utility belt complete with pepper spray and a baton known as an “asp”.

Gda Tydings had left the items in the boot of her car which was stolen on March 3, 2011. Two others had been arrested in possession of her stolen car, but her clothing was no longer in the boot.

Lastly, gardaí recovered camera equipment belonging to a filming company valued at STG £64,343 sterling. It had been stolen from a TNT courier van which had broken down in bad weather in Belfast.

The court issued an order for the camera equipment to be returned to its owners.

Daly told gardaí on arrest that he rented out the lock-up a year or two ago and that no-one else had been involved in the offences. He said he had been going to sell the blank NCT certificates and that other equipment was “for his own use”.

Daly has 20 previous convictions, including possession of drugs for sale or supply, unlawful possession of firearms, drink driving and other road traffic matters.

Shane Costello SC, defending, said Daly had at all stages cooperated with gardaí and customs officers. He submitted that his client had been maintaining the lock up but did not have any personal control over selling or distributing the items within it.

He said it was Daly's “complete misfortune” to have been at the facility at the time of a random search and to have been approached by customs because of his behaviour.

The court heard Daly was a diabetic of poor health requiring treatment and a father to three children with a number of grandchildren.

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