Katy drug probe man evades jail term
A 25-YEAR-OLD man convicted of conspiring to supply cocaine in a case linked to the death of model Katy French has evaded a jail term.
Trim Circuit Court was told yesterday that Russell Memery had conspired with two other people, not before the court, to possess cocaine for the purpose of selling or supplying it to another between 11pm on December 1, 2007, and 3am on December 2, 2007.
The offence, to which Memery had pleaded guilty in March, took place four days before the model died after falling into a coma.
A post-mortem revealed she had suffered brain damage and traces of cocaine were found in her system. She was 24.
The court was told by Detective Garda Niall O'Donnell that on December 1, 2007, Memery got a telephone call from a man to source €200 worth of cocaine for a third party.
Karl Hanahoe, prosecuting, said Memery contacted a third party and drove to the Statoil Service Station at Bracetown, Clonee, Co Meath.
At the garage, the cocaine was exchanged for four €50 notes, the court heard.
Memery was arrested on February 20, 2008, and interviewed a number of times. The accused had accepted "his part in the handover of the cocaine", Mr Hanahoe said.
At the time of the offence Memery was a crane driver. He is now unemployed.
Memery, of Yellow Clay Manor, Navan, Co Meath, has 20 previous convictions for traffic offences.
Caroline Biggs, defending, told the court that her client had not been on the garda "radar" for drug-related offences.
Ms Biggs said her client had "moved house, lost friends" and became "to some extent socially isolated" as a result of the media attention over the case.
She said the offences dated back two years and the case had been hanging over his head, putting his life on hold.
She told Judge Michael O'Shea that while "he must be considered a cog in a wheel, he derived no financial gain".
Passing sentence, the judge said another person had initiated what happened and the accused "was the contact person who made contact to get the drugs. I accept there was no gain, he got no profit."
Judge O'Shea added that to act as a "conduit is a very very serious matter".
But he accepted that Memery was on the extreme periphery, or a minor player, and in many ways "was ideal because he was under the radar of the gardai".
He imposed a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence but suspended it on condition that Memery enter into a bond to be of good behaviour for the next three years.