Sunday 15 December 2019

'Devoutly religious' man sentenced to ten years for possession of €1.4m worth of cocaine loses appeal

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A “devoutly” religious man who was given a ten year jail term for possession of €1.4m worth of cocaine has lost his appeal against sentence.

Adiodan Kamoru Kareem (36), with a last address at Johnstown, Navan, Co Meath, had pleaded guilty to possession of €1.4 million worth of cocaine with intent for sale or supply in May 2011.

He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by Judge Michael O'Shea at Trim Circuit Court on February 17 2012.

Refusing the appeal against sentence today, Mr Justice Seán Ryan said Kareem had been “caught red-handed”.

Days earlier, Mr Justice Ryan said, the Garda drugs squad was informed by customs officials that a false diplomatic package had come into the country and a controlled delivery took place in Athy, Co Kildare.

Another accused collected the package and delivered it to a car park in Navan. Shortly thereafter Kareem collected the car and drove it to an apartment in the town.

A search of the apartment uncovered “an extremely large quantity” of cocaine with an estimated street value of €1.4 million. Also found in the search of the apartment was €100,000 in cash, a quantity of two drugs commonly used as mixing agents, a quantity of another pharmaceutical drug, plastic bags and other paraphernalia.

Kareem and the other accused man pleaded guilty, Mr Justice Ryan said. Kareem was “caught red-handed”, had keys to an apartment which had all the paraphernalia of “a suppliers” premises and he made a business decision to commit the offence.

It was suggested that the accused gave material assistance, describing to gardaí his own involvement and other information related to illegal immigration. He was also described as a devoutly religious person who didn't drink or smoke.

Although the trial judge “undoubtedly said and repeated” that the starting point for an offence of this nature was life imprisonment, nowhere did he actually approach sentencing on that basis, Mr Justice Ryan said.

He said a crime of considerable severity had been committed and the exceptional and specific circumstances did not make it unjust to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

Mr Justice Ryan said the Court of Appeal was satisfied that the trial judge addressed himself to the question of Kareem's exceptional and specific circumstances and came to the conclusion that they did not make the sentence unjust.

He added that the Court of Appeal would have been satisfied if a sentence of more than the minimum had been imposed.

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