McAnaspie brother jailed for five years on drug charge
A brother of murdered teenager Daniel McAnaspie was yesterday jailed for five years for having drugs for sale or supply to others.
Edward McAnaspie (23), with an address at Belcurris Road, Ballymun, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Trim Circuit Court to having the cannabis herb, worth in excess of €13,000, at Millfarm, Dunboyne, Co Meath, on August 14, 2008.
The court heard that gardai went to that location, which is a link road between two housing estates, after receiving reports of suspicious activity involving two vehicles.
Gardai found two black sacks of cannabis that had been "stashed in a ditch", according to state prosecutor Carl Hanahoe.
While the gardai were retrieving them McAnaspie and another person arrived in a car which was stopped and searched. He was then arrested.
In all, 7.6kg of cannabis resin was recovered which had a street value of about €92,000
Detective Garda Shane Dervan, of Ashbourne garda station, agreed that he was in the lower echelons and was not a big player.
The court heard that another person owned the drugs and McAnaspie had been threatened because of a drug debt he owed.
The court was also told he is a brother of Daniel McAnaspie, who was murdered while in the care of the HSE.
His remains were found in a field in Co Meath earlier this year some 10 weeks after he was last seen alive.
Defence counsel Caroline Biggs said the defendant's sisters and aunt were in court and he has people who believe in him.
She said he was the eldest of six children and after his father died when he was just 11 years old he took over the parenting role and if he did not get the children up for school they did not go to school.
This had continued until he felt he could not cope any more and social services were contacted.
Initially the children were kept together but they were subsequently separated.
With the exception of his brother Daniel, all of the children have survived and are doing well, Ms Biggs said.
A character reference from Fr Peter McVerry was also handed into the court.
Judge Michael O'Shea was told McAnaspie deeply regretted what he had done and had shown this by entering a guilty plea at the first opportunity. The court heard that at the time he had a drug addiction problem but is now drug free.
He is serving a two-year jail term, imposed earlier this year, for possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.
Passing sentence, Judge O'Shea said McAnaspie had no convictions at the time and, "in many ways was the ideal person to be recruited because he had no convictions".
He said such people help the higher players who in turn assist the bigger players and the drug barons.
He accepted the guilty plea had a substantial benefit in bringing the prosecution to a successful conclusion. He imposed a five-year jail term.