Tuesday 12 December 2017

Woman given suspended sentence for receiving Valium package worth €32,000

Ben Haugh

A DUBLIN woman has been given a four-year suspended sentence for receiving a package of Valium worth more than €32,000.

Amanda Little (24) of Oak Road, Donnycarney pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of more than 16,000 valium tablets.

Garda Hugh Coughlan told Cormac Quinn BL that the drugs were ordered online and posted to Little’s house.

The court heard that the package was intercepted at Portlaoise Mail Centre on September 30, 2009, and sent to a laboratory for testing.

A joint operation was launched between gardai and customs officers when results showed that the pills were diazepam.

On January 1, 2010, Gda Colin Brennan posed as a postman and delivered the package to Little’s home. She accepted the package, signing the name “Clare Murphy” instead of her own.

Gardai obtained a search warrant and found the drugs in Little’s back garden.

Little, who was 22-years-old at the time, claimed to have “not a clue” about the contents of package, but later admitted that she had agreed to accept the delivery.

The court heard that diazepam, commonly known as Valium, has a street value of €2 per pill. There were 16,120 tablets in the package with a street value of €32,240.

Garda Coughlan agreed with Diarmuid McGuinness, SC, defending, that Little had not intended to sell the drugs on herself and had no previous convictions.

Mr McGuinness said his client expressed “extreme remorse” and was “literally in a state of terror.”

He told the court that Little has two young children and a long term partner. He asked Judge Martin Nolan to avoid handing down a custodial sentence.

Judge Nolan said: “She signed a false name which implies to me that she knew something untoward was happening with it.”

He took into account her guilty plea, good record of employment and the fact that she is a mother.

Little was given a four year suspended sentence and sobbed as she left the court with her family.

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