Tuesday 28 January 2020

'I am going to get shot...play by the sword, die by the sword' - driver stopped with €44k worth of cannabis to be sentenced later

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Sonya McLean

A father-of-four who was caught with over €44,000 worth of cannabis in the boot of his vehicle after gardaí stopped him for “erratic driving” will be sentenced later.

James Murphy (37) told gardaí he had just smoked a joint two hours previously but the vehicle was searched when the officer got a strong smell of cannabis.

Garda Paul Doona told Sinead McMullan BL, prosecuting, said that when asked what was in the holdall in the boot, Murphy replied “Sunday World magazines. I am going to be killed.”

He told gardaí during an interview: “I am going to get shot. That's how it works, play by the sword, die by the sword.”

Murphy said he had agreed to transport the drugs “from a to b” for “bit of weed”. He said he was spending €50 per week on cannabis having overcome a heroin addiction years previously.

Murphy of John Street South, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having cannabis, valued at €44,712 for sale or supply on Navan Road, Dublin 7 on February 23, 2014. A further stash of cannabis, worth €404, was found in a follow-up search of his home.

His seven previous convictions include larceny, road traffic convictions and one for possession of drugs.

Murphy told gardaí he worked as a courier and was in debt because of his drug habit. He said he wasn't able to pay his suppliers.

“I want to get away from cannabis and get back to a normal life,” he told gardaí.

Gda Doona agreed with Sean Gillane SC, defending, that his client would never have been caught had it not been for his “erratic driving”.

He said he had been on routine patrol when he spotted the vehicle changing lanes without indicating and driving erratically. Murphy pulled over when he instructed him to do so.

Mr Gillane told Judge Melanie Greally that his client was “easy prey to others because he owed money and had access to a vehicle”.

“He couldn't even execute that task without coming to the attention of the traffic police,” counsel added. Judge Greally adjourned the case to June 28 next and ordered a probation report for that date.

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