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Offaly mother jailed after she let €100,000 worth of heroin be stored at her home

AN Offaly mother who allowed more than €100,000 worth of heroin to be stored at her home has been jailed for two years.

Judge Patrick McCartan said he must send out a message to society that people who engage in this type of activity will inevitably face jail terms.

Deborah Campbell (24), of Poplars Brosna, Birr, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession of heroin at her then home at The Courthouse, Rathcoole, Dublin, on July 31, 2011.

Detective Garda Ciaran Loughrey told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that as part of a “relatively standard garda operation”, gardaí obtained a warrant and searched Campbell's home. He said that quantities of heroin were found in a bedroom and in the hallway. Paraphernalia, including plastic bags, scissors and weighing scales was also found.

No-one was in the home at the time but two days later, Campbell arrived at Tallaght Garda Station by appointment. She told gardaí that she didn't own the heroin, but that she was receiving payment for allowing it to be stored in her apartment. “She made full admissions,” he said.

The value of the heroin was almost €112,000, the court was told. The garda said there was no evidence to suggest the drugs were being cut up in the house.

Gda Loughrey said Campbell came from a good background and has been “under stress since this incident”.

Campbell has a number of previous convictions, all of which are for road traffic matters.

Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC defending said his client was “vulnerable to being used” at the time, but has since broken contact with people she associated with then. He said it was “a very unusual case”.

“She has suffered greatly as a result of this because of the stress and worry,” he said.

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Judge McCartan said the quantity of the drug was “significant”.

“Heroin is a pernicious, high addictive drug,” he said, adding that it is a source of “major trouble” in society.

He said that Campbell had a good background and said she had “no good reason to have lent herself to this”.

He pointed out that her record had been described in court as “minor road traffic”.

However, he said that three convictions for driving without insurance “show a certain disregard for authority, a disregard for others”.

He said a message must be sent out to the community that if people commit offences of this nature, “they invariably and inevitably will end up in prison”.

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