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Man who cut up friend's body sentenced on Longford drugs charge


 (stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

A feared Dublin criminal who was convicted of dismembering a man’s body and dumping it in a Dutch lake has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for drugs possession.

Philip County (33) of Pairc na hAbhainn, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, was handed down the sentence by Judge Keenan Johnston after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine and MDMA with a total street value of €7,298.

It followed an armed raid at his home in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, in October 2017.

The Dubliner had previously been released on bail in May, where he was informed by Judge Johnston that he was facing a three year prison sentence with final two years suspended.

County’s bail was revoked just weeks later when it emerged he had a conviction at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal from May 2017.

The terms of that sentence involved him being a co-perpetrator in the concealment, removal and disposal of a corpse in Amsterdam and had been sentenced to 21 months in prison.

In May 2017, County and two other men were sentenced to two years in prison for hiding the dead man’s body in 2009, but County had already served that time while on remand in a Dutch prison.

In light of the Amsterdam conviction, Judge Johnston remanded County in prison in June until his reappearance in court yesterday for sentencing.

The court was told that when gardaí called to County’s home in Edgeworthstown at the time they found 71 grammes of cocaine, 33 grammes of MDMA and 30 MDMA tablets with an overall street value of €7,298.

Drug paraphernalia and evidence of drug dealing was also found on the premises.

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The court heard a probation report carried out on County while in custody was “not positive” in its findings.

It found the accused to be at high risk of reoffending and detailed his “criminal associations”, attitude towards offending, substance misuse as well as emotional and personal issues.

Judge Johnston also referenced County’s previous conviction in Holland and noted how he told probation officers of the incident.

“The accused was involved in a very serious crime in Holland in respect the body of a deceased person was dismembered by him with the help of some other associates,” he said.

“In the probation report, the accused indicated that the individual involved had been murdered while he was away from his apartment and when he came back he assisted the other parties in disposing of the body.”

The court heard that County still had eight months left of a 21 month sentence to serve in the Netherlands for that incident - with Dutch law enforcement officials likely to seek his extradition to serve out the remainder of that sentence upon his release from Irish prison.

Judge Johnston referenced County's "prior convictions", of which he has over 50, including a number for drugs and firearms.

The court further heard how gardaí have since warned County his life is under threat from unnamed criminals.

In mitigation, Judge Hughes said Mr County’s early guilty plea had saved the State “the time, cost and expense of a criminal trial”.

He consequently sentenced Mr County to five years in prison with the final two-and-a-half years suspended on condition he enter a €500 bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for ten years.

On release from prison, Mr County was also ordered to submit himself to probation services for a period of 18 months and to remain drug free for the duration of the suspended sentence.

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