Tuesday 27 September 2016

Mother (23) spared jail for €26,000 cocaine kept in bedroom

Conor Gallagher

Published 18/12/2015 | 02:30

Laura Clarke (23), from Coolock, leaves Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after getting a suspended sentence. Photo: Collins
Laura Clarke (23), from Coolock, leaves Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after getting a suspended sentence. Photo: Collins

A tennis club employee has been spared jail for holding onto €26,000 worth of cocaine to repay a drug debt.

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Laura Clarke (23), of Belcamp Avenue, Coolock, Dublin, said she was addicted to cocaine and that drug dealers exploded a pipe bomb outside her house two years ago to intimidate her.

Clarke, who worked at Malahide Tennis Club, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of 372 grams of cocaine for sale or supply on October 7, 2014 at her home where she lived with her mother and her four-year-old son. She has no previous convictions.

The offence carries up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years except in exceptional circumstances.

However, Judge Patrick McCartan said he was going to take a chance on Clarke because of her young son and her voluntary community work.

He imposed a five-year suspended sentence. Clarke's family home was raided after a confidential tip-off. The cocaine and a weighing scales were found in her bedroom.

Irish Independent

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