Tuesday 20 February 2018

'A' student who dealt cannabis from the boot of a car avoids jail

An ‘A’ student who was dealing drugs out of the boot of a stolen car has avoided jail after being ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Michael Murphy (21) came from a “decent upright family” but had developed a cocaine habit before becoming involved in drug dealing.

Murphy had been dealing cannabis herb and resin from a stolen car which was found parked in an underground carpark and taken away and searched.

He was arrested after gardai found him loitering around the garages of the towing company later that night.

The court heard that two other men had earlier offered money to the driver of a tow truck service who was collecting the car to let them retrieve something from the car but the driver refused their offer.

Murphy of Woodstown Meadows, Ballycullen, Dublin pleaded guilty at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply on April 1, 2010.

A search of the car by gardai turned up 908g of cannabis herb and 750g of cannabis resin, with a total estimated street value of €15,396.

Garda Jerome Twomey told prosecuting counsel Fergal Foley BL that an electronic weighing scales was also found in the car.

Murphy said he was paying off a debt of €500 to a particular group and that they would call him and tell him to measure out a quantity of drugs from the car.

The court heard that Murphy was a “store keeper” and never received any cash. The two men who had offered money to the tow truck driver were more senior members of the drug dealing group.

Sarah-Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, said Murphy was an “A student” at Terenure college and a champion tennis player with Templeogue Tennis Club.

She said her client had developed a cocaine and drink problem at the time of the offence.

Judge Tony Hunt said that Murphy comes from a “decent, upright family” and he was satisfied that this offence was “an aberration” which showed the dangers of running up a drugs debt.

He noted that Murphy’s mother said her son’s arrest was the best thing that ever happened to him.

He suspended a sentence of two years and ordered that Murphy complete up to 240 hours of community service.

He told Murphy: “You have enough education to be able to draw the appropriate lesson from this”.

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