Fee-paying student sold drugs to pay debt

Declan Brennan

A TERENURE College student who was dealing drugs from the boot of a stolen car has avoided jail after being ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Michael Murphy (21) came from a "decent upright family" but had developed a cocaine habit before getting involved in drug dealing.

Murphy had been dealing cannabis herb and resin from a stolen car which was found parked in an underground car park and was taken away and searched.

Sarah-Jane O'Callaghan, defending, said Murphy was a student at Terenure College and a champion tennis player with Templeogue Tennis Club.

She said her client had developed a cocaine and drink problem at the time of the offence.

He was arrested after gardai found him loitering around the garages of the towing company later that night.

The court heard that two other men had earlier offered money to the driver of a tow truck service who was collecting the car to let them retrieve something from the car but the driver refused.

A search of the car by gardai turned up 908g of cannabis herb and 750g of cannabis resin, with a total estimated street value of €15,396.

Murphy said he was paying off a debt of €500 to a particular group and that they would call him and tell him to measure out a quantity of drugs from the car.

The court heard that Murphy was a "store keeper" and never received any cash.