Jail sentence reduced for drug dealer ‘devastated by cot death’
The Court of Criminal Appeal has ruled that the sentence handed down to an out of work carpenter found with €157,000 worth of cocaine and heroin, was too severe as he had made efforts to rehabilitate himself.
Christopher Lawless (31) of Orchard Lawns, Ballyfermot, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at College Lands, Mill Road, Saggart on July 6, 2010.
During a search gardai also found €2,000 in cash, weighing scales, and a tick list and diary keeping track of the movement of drugs.
Lawless, who had worked as a carpenter until 2008 and was never involved in the drugs trade before, had €80,934 worth of cocaine and €77,224 of heroin.
The court heard he was devastated by the death of his baby son from cot death and began abusing cocaine to cope and built up a €50,000 drug debt with a criminal gang.
He started moving the drugs for the gang and was paid €500 for each time.
Judge Patricia Ryan gave Lawless a 10-year sentence with the last three years suspended in March 2012.
Earlier today, John Aylmer SC, for the appellant, challenged the severity of the sentence because the judge did not give adequate credit for the mitigating features of the case.
Mr Justice John McMenamin, presiding the three-judge court, ruled that more weight could have been given by the trial judge to Lawless’s efforts to rehabilitate himself.
The court suspended the final five years of the 10-year sentence for his efforts, which were described as “out of the ordinary”.