Community service after drugs charges
A 22 year old man has been ordered to do 170 hours community service instead of serving a jail sentence of eight months when he appeared at Dundalk District Court.
Conor Hanway, 3 Bothar na Feirme, had appeared before the court previously on charges relating to the possession of over €7,000 worth of drugs for sale or supply.
He had pleaded guilty to four counts of having drugs for sale or supply at that address on January 9 last year. Judge Flann Brennan heard how Gardai had received complaints about drug dealing in the area and had mounted a surveillance operation.
They searched the house after getting a warrant and found cannabis, worth €6,994, cocaine worth €166 and 100 tablets, worth €200, along with weighing scales and deal bags. Hanway was arrested and admitted having the drugs for sale or supply.
He has no previous convictions and solicitor Peter Lavery said Hanway had co-operated with Gardai.
He got involved in drugs because he needed money to pay for a car he had damaged. Mr Lavery said there were unusual elements to the accident because Hanway had crashed into a car and then left the scene without being detected. But the defendant went to the Gardai and admitted what he had done, having called to a number of houses in the area to try to find out who owned the vehicle that had been damaged.
The defendant undertook to pay the money back, Mr Lavery said, but 'very foolishly' got involved in dealing. Hanway had been smoking cannabis at the time and ' thought the way to raise money was to deal drugs which is why he is before the court now'.
Mr Lavery said Hanway ' had never done it before and it was a huge mistake on his part'.Hanway has since had counselling and 'no longer takes drugs or associate with people like that'.
The case had been adjourned for the preparation of a Community Service report and Mr Lavery said his client was willing to do Community Service and the judge imposed the community sentence.
Judge Flann Brennan also made an order for the destruction of the drugs.