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Man buying heroin 'in wrong place at wrong time' receives suspended sentence


Judge's gavel.

Judge's gavel.

Judge's gavel.

A man who was buying heroin in a Dublin flat to sell to his friends in Galway when gardaí raided it has received a suspended jail sentence.

Gardaí accepted that David Doherty was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and he was simply in the flat to buy the €905 worth of heroin.

He told gardaí he came to Dublin to spend €325 on heroin, some of which he would use and the rest he would “sell to his mates in Tuam”.

Doherty (28) of Ballinamona Park, Tuam, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of heroin for sale or supply on North Circular Road, on June 27, 2013. He has 49 previous convictions which were mainly for road traffic convictions.

His co-accused, Stephen Lunders (36) previously of Rathmines Road Lower, Rathmines pleaded guilty to the same charge in the same place. He has 28 previous convictions which included drug offences and is now living in his step-father’s home in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring suspended a sentence of two and a half years for Doherty on condition that he keeps the peace and continues to attend Tuam Community Training Centre. She said that he has made significant progress in dealing with his heroin addiction.

Doherty has charges pending at Galway Circuit Criminal Court for allegedly possessing €15,000 worth of heroin for sale or supply at a hotel in Galway City on March 14, 2014.

Lunders took full responsibility for the majority of the drugs which were found in the flat and had a total value of €14,383. He claimed he had been dealing to help pay off a drug debt his now deceased brother had run up.

Judge Ring imposed a three year jail term on Lunders but suspended the last 18 months.

Garda Seamus Donoghue told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that the flat was raided by gardaí following a tip off.

Doherty was searched and 6 grammes of heroin was found on him. He was arrested later and made various admissions in interview. He said he had been in the flat for less than 15 minutes and had no idea how much drugs were in the house

Gda Donoghue said Lunders was also searched and two ounces of heroin, worth €9,000 was found in his front left jean pocket, while €1,010 in cash was found in his back right pocket.

A coffee table in the centre of the room had a plate with loose heroin on it. There was bagging beside the plate, which Gda Donoghue said was consistent with preparing the drugs for street dealing.

There was also small made up deals on the table along with an electronic weighing scales.

Gda Donoghue agreed with Marc Thompson Grolimund BL, defending, that Doherty was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and he was only responsible for the heroin found on him.

Counsel said Doherty is no longer taking heroin and is stable now on methadone. He is still unemployed but he is minding his children while his partner is taking part in a FÁS course.

Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said Lunders is still under a serious threat over a debt which he is now responsible for since his brother’s death. She said he has moved out of the city centre and is now on methadone maintenance.

Online Editors