Monday 11 December 2017

Man caught throwing €3K worth of cocaine out of window receives suspended sentence

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Isabel Hayes and Fiona Ferguson

A man who was caught throwing €3000 worth of cocaine out of a house window, nearly into the hands of gardaí at the scene, has been given a suspended sentence.

Karl Fields (22) with an address in Ayleward Green, Church St, Finglas Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at a house in The Griffith, Finglas, on October 6, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to unlawfully impeding or obstructing a garda on the same date.

Sergeant Tony Flanagan told Sinead McGrath BL, prosecuting, that a search warrant was obtained for an address in Finglas, where they suspected Fields was storing large quantities of drugs.

Fields was known to gardaí as a supplier of heroin in the Finglas area, the court heard.

When gardaí arrived at the house, they believed there were people inside, but no-one answered. After they tried to break in three times, the front door was eventually opened by a small child. A woman was also present.

As gardaí started searching the house, Fields threw two packages of cocaine out of a window – almost into the hands of gardaí who were outside, Sgt Flanagan said.

The packages had a combined street value of €3176.

The court heard he had a “chaotic family background” and began using drugs at the age of 13.

Defence counsel said Fields wishes to enter a residential treatment program on his release.

Sentencing Fields today, Judge Karen O'Connor said drugs had caused serious destruction, heartbreak and distress in parts of the country and he had involved himself in this activity.

Judge O'Connor noted Fields appeared to be trying to rehabilitate himself and she imposed a two-year sentence, which she suspended in full, consecutive to the term he is currently serving.

The court previously heard Fields made full admissions to gardaí upon his arrest, although he told them he would only receive €150 for selling each of the packages. He said the woman and children living at the address had nothing to do with the drugs.

He has 168 previous convictions, including 11 previous convictions for drug sale or supply.

Over 100 of the convictions are for road traffic offences. This is his first circuit court matter.

Defence barrister Edel Gilligan BL said Fields had a chaotic family background, was in care from his early teens and had accumulated drug debts by the age of 17. He was a drug addict who got involved in drug-dealing to feed his habit, the court heard.

In 2013, he tried to get his life back on track and travelled to Finland where he trained as an apprentice carpenter. However, when he returned home and found work, his employer fired him after learning about his previous drug offending.

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