Sunday 22 April 2018

Man gets seven and a half years for holding drugs stash

Sonya McLean

A MAN who agreed to hold various amounts of drugs worth almost €190,000 and a stash of guns to pay off a drug debt has been jailed for seven and half years.

Stephen Dempsey (28) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis, cocaine, heroin, amphetamine and an assortment of tablets for sale or supply at his home in Thornfield Square, Clondalkin, in October 30, 2011.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of a revolver, a submachine gun and a pump action sawn off shot gun at the same place on the same date.

Charges of possession of a semi-automatic shotgun, a magazine and rounds of ammunition were taken into account.

Judge Martin Nolan accepted that Dempsey was holding the drugs and guns to “wipe out a drug debt” but said he must have known he was minding lethal weapons and as such was “aiding and abetting serious violence”.

“What he did was incredibly serious and the weapons bring it to another level,” the judge said.

“He made a huge mistake storing these guns and he is going to have to pay a serious price,” he continued before he jailed Dempsey.

Garda Fiona Ruddy told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that gardai got a tip off about Dempsey and stopped him while he was driving in Clondalkin.

He handed over the keys to his apartment to allow it to be searched and later pointed out where he had hidden the drugs.

He later made “certain admissions” in garda interview and said the drugs and guns had been in the house for about two weeks.

He said he had dropped off some drugs to other people in the meantime and had weighed and the bagged them before delivering them.

Dempsey refused to name the person who had given him the drugs or guns.

Gda Ruddy said the drugs varied in value from €143,470 for the heroin, €23,396 for the cocaine, €4,453 for the amphetamine, €5,780 for the cannabis herb and just over €11,000 for the various tablets.

She said Dempsey had six previous convictions including road traffic offences and possession of drugs.

Gda Ruddy agreed with Aidan Doyle SC, defending, that his client’s fingerprints were not found on any of the guns and that he was simply holding them for someone else.

Mr Doyle handed in a number of testimonials and references into court. He said his client had an impressive work history, having been employed in the same company as his father for the last four years.

He said Dempsey was significantly involved in his local sports team and some charitable organisations.

Counsel submitted that his client had “a relatively good background” and that he only became involved in the offence to pay off a debt which had arisen out of his drug addiction.

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