Thursday 21 September 2017

Mum avoids jail after storing €80,000 worth of ecstasy in her bedroom

Jessica Magee

A YOUNG mother who agreed to hold almost €80,000 worth of ecstasy tablets to pay her rent which was in arrears has avoided jail.

Megan Spain (22), of Lanesboro Court, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court allowing her home to be used for storing drugs on October 21, 2011.

Garda Owen O'Malley told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that gardaí had been targeting another man suspected of drug-dealing on the day in question.

This man, Paul Caffrey (31) of Griffith Close, Finglas East, has pleaded guilty to drugs offences and is due to be sentenced next January.

Caffrey was spotted leaving Spain's apartment and was asked by gardaí what he was doing.

He said he had called in to see his friend Megan, whom he had gotten to know because their children played together. Gardaí later questioned Spain and asked her what Caffrey had been doing in her apartment.

She became upset, walked into her bedroom and handed gardaí a black bin bag containing 15,785 ecstasy tablets.

The drugs were later estimated to be worth €78,925, based on a street value of €5 per tablet.

Spain told gardaí that she had collected the bag and agreed to hold it for one night, for which she was going to be paid €1,000.

“There's no point in lying,” said the mother-of-two, who has no previous convictions.

She said her rent had fallen into arrears since her father had died a few months previously and that she was in financial difficulties.

Gda O'Malley agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, that it was a “one-off event” and that his client was unlikely to ever re-offend.

Mr O'Higgins said his client had been exploited by someone when she was vulnerable.

Judge Martin Nolan said Spain had “succumbed to temptation” when she was in financial distress and thought it was “easy money”.

“She made a very serious misjudgement,” he said.

He gave her a three-year suspended sentence on condition that she is of good behaviour for three years.

He also instructed that Spain place herself under the supervision of the probation services for 18 months.

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