Tuesday 21 May 2019

Cystic fibrosis sufferer who held gun and drugs avoids jail amid health fears

Stock photo
Stock photo

Sonya McLean

A cystic fibrosis sufferer who agreed to hold a gun, cannabis and two stolen motorbikes in order to pay off a gambling debt has avoided jail.

Dylan Mooney (23) has been placed on a 12-month probation bond after a court heard of a risk to his health and well-being behind bars.

He became addicted to gambling during long stays in hospital while being treated for his condition.

Mooney continued to gamble once he was discharged, playing online and going to bookmakers.

He ran up a debt of €15,000 and agreed to hold the gun, ammunition, a total of €20,600 worth of cannabis and two motorbikes to pay off the debt.

Mooney, of Sheephill Avenue, Blanchardstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty at the Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis resin, cannabis herb, a semi-automatic pistol and two charges of handling stolen property at his home on September 19, 2017.

He has no previous convictions and has not come to Garda attention since his arrest.

Judge Melanie Greally had adjourned the case in January having heard evidence to allow for the preparation of a probation report.

She said she also wanted to ascertain if Mooney's medical condition could be properly treated in a prison regime.

Yesterday she noted the reports before the court indicated a "custodial environment presents a higher risk of infection than would ordinarily exist".

Judge Greally said normally such a crime would attract a prison sentence but said Mooney's "well being" should be preserved and "the risk of infection for CF sufferers is a major concern".

She placed Mooney on a year's probation during which time he must engage with both the probation and gambling addiction services.

Irish Independent

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