Sunday 16 December 2018

DCU student avoids jail after he admits to dealing drugs on campus

DCU (stock image)
DCU (stock image)

Declan Brennan

A sports science college student has avoided jail after he admitted dealing drugs on the campus.

Cian Charlton (21) from Kilcun, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo was caught with cocaine, Ketamine and MDMA when gardaí raided his Dublin City University campus residence.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at Hampstead House, Glasnevin, North Dublin on November 15 last year (2017).

Garda Keith Morris told the court that gardaí raided the premises after receiving information about the presence of drugs on the campus. They found the drugs bagged up separately along with a weighing scales and a “tick list” of names and values.

The total estimated street value of all the drugs was €3,079.

Charlton ran from the scene but was caught. He initially told gardaí that he had bought the drugs off the “dark web” and for his own use.

He later admitted that this was all lies but said he couldn't name the people who supplied the drugs. Garda Morris testified that he accepted Charlton was in fear of these people.

Charlton has no previous convictions and has not come to adverse garda attention since the seizure.

Judge Pauline Codd said that Charlton came from a very decent and very supportive family. She noted that his parents were in court and were visibly upset.

She said that Charlton had gone for counselling since the offending and had shown insight into the effects of drugs on others.

She suspended a one year prison sentence on condition he keep the peace for that period and that he completes a drug awareness course with the Probation Service.

The court heard that days after pleading guilty to the offences the university sanctioned the college student by suspending him from his course for the year.

James Dwyer SC, defending, said that that a college committee advised him to return to them next April with a portfolio of what he has done in the meantime.

Evidence

Charlton told gardaí he did drugs himself because of his involvement in the “DJ” music scene. He said he was trying to save up for a holiday and that he thought dealing drugs would be a quick and easy way to make some money.

The court heard he became upset during garda interview when the seriousness of the situation he was in “dawned on him”.

Mr Dwyer said his client was “something of a neophyte in Dublin, a world full of prospects and unexpected things that didn't present themselves in his rural background.”

He said having grown up in a rural setting Charlton found himself “exposed to a more glamorous and more hazardous lifestyle” and was “a young man out of his element”.

Garda Morris agreed with counsel that Charlton came from a respectable and hard working family. He said he thought Charlton had learned from this offending.

His father Dennis Charlton told the court that he and his wife Geraldine were in court to support their son. He said his son had been very remorseful about his actions.

“It's been very difficult. He has realised the pain it has caused everyone in the family,” Mr Charlton said.

He added that he was proud of how his son has engaged with the college's internal disciplinary procedure and said his son had matured since the offending.

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