Monday 19 March 2018

Dad held €200k of drugs and gun to pay off debt

Jessica Magee

A dad-of-four who was forced to hold nearly €200,000 drugs and a firearm to pay off a debt has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Keith Doyle (28), formerly of Palmers Court, Palmerstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing cannabis, cocaine and MDMA tablets worth a total of €191,426 for sale or supply on March 21, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a revolver containing live ammunition on the same date.

Detective Garda Anthony Kennedy told prosecuting counsel, Cathleen Noctor BL, that he helped to search the Doyle’s house on the day in question.

He said there were three adults and a number of children present when gardaí searched the house. They found several hold all bags, on top of wardrobe, in a bathroom hot press and in a bedside locker.

The bags contained over €79,000 worth of cannabis, almost 8,000 MDMA tablets worth €60,000, and cocaine valued at over €51,500. The total value of the drugs was estimated at €191,426.

Gardaí also found a Smith and Weston .38 calibre revolver, containing three live rounds of ammunition.

Doyle was arrested and brought to Lucan Garda Station where he told gardaí that he had been playing with his children on the green at Palmer's Court earlier that day when a man arrived and told him to “make sure you're in all day.”

Doyle said a different man arrived by taxi later and dropped off the hold-all bags containing the drugs and the firearm.

He said he couldn't describe either man to gardaí as he was in fear of his life. He claimed he had been threatened in October 2011 after he became indebted to a gang for a small drug habit.

Defence counsel Damien Colgan SC said third parties had driven Doyle down the back roads of Clondalkin in October 2011 and put a gun to his head.

Doyle told gardaí he couldn't tell them who the gang was or his life “wouldn't be worth living.”

“If I said more to you, I'd get a bullet in the back of my head,” he said.

Doyle told gardaí that he was expecting that drugs would be in the hold-all, but that when he opened the bag and saw the gun “I nearly shit myself, so I threw it up on top of the wardrobe.”

Mr Colgan said his client has been attending AA and counselling is no longer addicted to drugs.

Judge Martin Nolan accepted that the Doyle was “under some duress” to hold the drugs and the firearm as a result of threats made against him.

He said Doyle must have known that the only possible use for the revolver was to kill or seriously injured.

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