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Child used to smuggle heroin into Mountjoy

A woman who attempted to smuggle heroin into Mountjoy Prison concealed in a child's pocket has been given an 18 month suspended sentence.

Collette Hyland (23) had agreed to bring the child to visit its father in prison as a favour but was then pressurised to bring in drugs or else the inmate would be beaten up.

Hyland, of Monastery Grove, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, admitted conveying heroin into the prison on August 30, 2008 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

She has no previous convictions and is a single woman with no children of her own.

Judge Martin Nolan took into account her previous good character and early guilty plea. He imposed an 18-month sentence which he suspended in full.


Garda Michael Coyne told the court that a drug dog indicated Hyland by sitting beside her as she entered the prison with the child in her arms.

Prison officers asked her if she had anything to hand over and she reached into the child's pocket and produced a package containing heroin with a street value of €1,996.

Hyland was arrested and admitted she was bringing in the drugs as a favour to an acquaintance. She said the threat to the inmate was made in a phone call to the child's mother.

Tessa Feaheny, defending, said Hyland had started abusing drugs after her boyfriend began using them when she was 18. She has since detoxed from heroin and is now drug free.

She said she was now in third level education and hoped to qualify as a drugs counsellor.