Dad found asleep near playground with €6k of drugs

(stock photo)

Sonya McLean

A father-of-three who was found asleep on street deals of crack cocaine and heroin beside a playground has received a fully suspended sentence.

Damien Gray (36) was caught by gardai after they received a call that a man was asleep in Hermitage Park in Lucan.

When officers arrived, they found Gray by the playground and woke him up.

When he rolled over, they found a tissue packet with €5,700 of heroin in individual street deals. A further quantity of crack cocaine, valued at €300, was later found.

Gray, of Shancastle Close, Clondalkin, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of heroin and cocaine for sale or supply on May 31, 2017.

He had 12 previous convictions, three for drug offences.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Cormac Quinn noted that Gray was now drug-free and has not come to adverse garda attention since this offence.

Judge Quinn sentenced Gray to two years' imprisonment, but he suspended the sentence in full on strict conditions, including that Gray follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months.

At an earlier sentencing hearing, Garda Ronan Culligan told Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that Gray was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Gray admitted that he got the drugs three or four days previously and that he was selling them because he needed money to live.

He said "someone else" had wrapped the drugs into individual deals and that he was going to sell the cocaine for €30 a bag and the heroin for €20 a bag.

Gray said he "owed a fella €500" for the drugs.

He said he had been smoking heroin himself for the previous two weeks.


Gray told gardai "there would be trouble" when officers asked him what would happen now that the drugs had been taken off him.

Gray's partner told the court he was living rough at the time of his arrest because she had asked him to leave the family home because of his behaviour.

He called her from the garda station, she took him home and got him help.

"He is a changed man," she said, before she confirmed that Gray was not taking any drugs, that he was working and she and their children "rely on him".