Wednesday 28 September 2016

Man caught collecting package containing over €100,000 worth of ketamine sentenced to 10 years

Sonya McLean and Jennifer Ryan

Published 12/04/2016 | 14:43

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A man who was caught collecting a package of a recently criminalised drug has been sentenced to ten years in jail.

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David Larrissey (37) was not the target of a surveillance operation which led to the seizure of €103,132 worth of ketamine. As it was his second conviction for a similar drug offence a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years had to be imposed.

Larrissey of Main Street, Chapelizod, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing 1.718kg of ketamine at Maidens Row, Chapelizod, Dublin on June 4, 2015. He has six previous including the other drug conviction.

His co-accused Jordan Maher (19) of Arthur Griffith Park, Lucan, pleaded guilty to the same offence. He has no previous convictions.

Maher was granted bail by Judge Sarah Berkeley last month pending his sentence in October on condition he gets a full-time job, avoids adverse garda attention and liaises with the Probation and Welfare Services.

Judge Elma Sheahan said today in sentencing Larrissey that due to the seriousness of the offence and the quantity of the drugs involved, a ten year sentence would be appropriate in this case even if it was not mandatory.

Judge Sheahan backdated the sentence to June 4, 2015 with a review scheduled for five years after that date.

Detective Garda Daragh O'Toole told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that he and colleagues had received confidential information about a co-accused. They followed this man's van to Arthur Griffith Park, where he picked up Maher.

The surveillance team followed the van to various locations, including a self-storage unit in Kildare, before Maher was seen handing a brown paper bag to Larrissey at Maiden's Row.

Gardaí approached Larrissey as he was walking away. He was carrying a suitcase and the drugs were found in the suitcase.

A follow up search of his home led to the discovery of a smaller quantity of ketamine worth €678, a notebook with names and numbers and a weighing scales.

Det Gda O'Toole said neither Larrissey nor Maher provided any material assistance in interview. He agreed that the intelligence operation had not been targeting either Larrissey or Maher.

He agreed with Sean Guerin SC, defending, that his client's co-accused, the man under surveillance, had denied the charge and was due for trial.

Det Gda O'Toole said he didn't recall Larrissey telling gardaí during interview that he was in fear of others but added that he didn't have notes with him to confirm this.

He agreed with counsel that as ketamine had only been listed as a controlled drug about six months previous to the seizure, officers had limited information in respect of valuation yet Larrissey didn't challenge this at trial.

Larrissey's sister, Elaine Larrissey, told Mr Guerin that her brother was the only member of the family who had ever come to garda attention.

She outlined his history of drug abuse and said he had previously got clean but relapsed again.

A number of documents were handed into court including a report which detailed a course “Moving beyond addiction” that Larrissey had completed while on remand in Cloverhill Prison.

Other reports confirmed progress he has made since his arrest. He was providing clean urines and was highly respected within the prison.

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