Tuesday 24 October 2017

Father of seven (60) and student jailed for 'large scale drug dealing' - court

Nicola Donnelly

A 60 year old father of seven and a student have been sentenced for their involvement in large scale drug dealing in Kildare.

Eddie Winston (60) met Lee Bracken Kennedy (21) in a Leixlip industrial estate to hand over nearly €20,000 worth of cannabis herb before they were intercepted by gardaí.

When Winston was arrested, a key to a lock-up unit was found on him. Gardaí located just under €180,000 worth of drugs, a gun and ammunition in the unit.

Winston was sentenced to six years in prison while Bracken-Kennedy was given a three year suspended sentence and bound to the peace for three years.

Winston of Montpelier Park, Dublin 7 pleaded guilty to possession of €176,325 worth of heroin, cocaine and cannabis resin for sale or supply at a unit at Finglas Business Park on November 26, 2013. He further pleaded guilty to possession of a 12 gauge double barrel Larranaga shotgun and 238 rounds of ammunition at the same location.

Bracken Kennedy of Avondale in Leixlip, Co Kildare pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful possession of cannabis herb for sale or supply  atRyebrook Business Park, Maynooth Road in Leixlip on the same date.

Garda Michael Ormond told John Fitzgerald, BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were monitoring Winston as they believed he was going to be involved in the transportation of drugs. They followed him to Leixlip where he met Bracken Kennedy.  Winston handed over a black bag to Bracken Kennedy before gardaí intercepted them.

Bracken Kennedy, a student in Athlone DIT, made full admissions and admitted he knew he was driving to Leixlip to pick up the cannabis herb.

A key found on Winston was for a lock-up unit at Tolka Valley Industrial Estate and on searching it, the drugs, guns and ammunition was found in a suspended ceiling.

Winston initially denied any involvement and accused Bracken Kennedy, who has no previous convictions, of supplying him with the drugs. Winston later admitted his involvement.

Garnet Orange BL, defending Winston, said the part-time maintenance worker had received a small amount of cash for holding the drugs.

Mr Orange said Winston, who was in financial difficulties, had use of the premises through his work and this is where he stored the drugs.

Counsel for Bracken Kennedy, Jennifer Jackson BL said the apprentice electrician was approached by a fellow student and given €200 to pick up the cannabis in Leixlip.

Bracken Kennedy told gardaí he had presumed it was about an ounce of cannabis. He said he planned to use the money to buy Christmas presents.

“He was a naive 21 year old living away from home and he made a huge bad decision,” said Ms Jackson.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that Winston was a “good family man and hard working” and said he believed he is extremely sorry for his involvement.

He said he could accept that Bracken Kennedy was “somewhat surprised” by the large amount of drugs but that he knew he was going to transport drugs. He said both men made “gross errors of judgement.”

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