Wednesday 26 October 2016

Man found with €72,000 cocaine avoids jail after judge finds he was probably targeted by drug dealers

Isabel Hayes

Published 15/04/2016 | 14:57

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A Dublin man found in possession of over €72,000 of cocaine has avoided jail after a judge found he was vulnerable and probably targeted by drug dealers.

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Raymond Creighton (26) of Poddle Green, Kimmage, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing 1.03 kg of cocaine worth €72,100 at Cashel Road, Crumlin on February 5, 2015. He has two minor public order convictions from 2011.

The court previously heard Creighton told gardaí that he had been standing on the side of the road waiting on a friend when two people he knew pulled up in a car and started “slagging” him.

He said he agreed to hold drugs for them and thought he might have gotten €100 or a “bit of hash” for the job. Garda Triona Gallagher told the court that Creighton said he hadn't expected the drugs to be worth so much.

Gda Gallagher agreed with Seamus Clarke BL, defending, that Creighton was a “vulnerable and soft” man who had been shocked at the drugs' value.

Gardaí raided a house in Cashel Street, belonging to a friend of Creighton's. A rucksack of cocaine and a weighing scales were found in the house owner's bedroom, but Creighton immediately admitted he had put them there.

He said he owed the two people in the car up to €200 for a drugs debt.

Sentencing Creighton today, Judge Sarah Berkeley said there were a number of exceptional circumstances in Creighton's case.

She said he was not known to be involved in the drug scene, that he immediately admitted to possessing the drugs and co-operated with gardaí to a high degree.

“He appears somewhat vulnerable and could be targeted by drug dealers,” Judge Berkeley said, adding Creighton had learnt a “serious lesson”.

“While a custodial sentence would have a significant deterrent, I have to consider how a lengthy prison sentence would affect a young man like the accused,” said Judge Berkeley before imposing a four year sentence and suspending it entirely.

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