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Couple with €550k drugs in attic escape jail

A COUPLE caught with up to €550,000 of cannabis in their attic have agreed to be of good behaviour for the remainder of a seven-year suspended prison sentence given in October 2011.

They gave the undertaking yesterday to the Court of Criminal Appeal, which ruled their sentence was only unduly lenient because it did not contain a condition relating to probation supervision.

Keith Jervis (36) and Therese Doyle (35), of Rosewood Grove, Lucan, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession for sale and supply of 45kg of cannabis found by gardai in a crawl space of an attic area off a bedroom.

The drugs were estimated to be worth between €320,000 and €550,000.

The couple, who have two sons, made immediate admissions and directed gardai to where the drugs were hidden.

The Circuit Court heard they told gardai they had been approached outside a shop and asked to store a cannabis for a short period of time for a "modest reward" of €300.

Ms Doyle said she had been asked to to hold a couple of packets, but both she and her partner were shocked when a man turned up at their home with "a vanload".

DANGEROUS

She added that the people involved with the drugs were dangerous and they had no option but to accept.

There had also been a pipe bomb attack on their home which gardai accepted was part of an intimidation campaign.

The DPP appealed the sentence imposed on them, arguing that the original Circuit Court judge Martin Nolan had not been not justified in suspending their term.

The DPP added the judge did not mention the fact that the mandatory sentence for possession of in excess of €13,000 of drugs was life unless it would be unjust to do so in the specific circumstances of the case.

Nor did the judge decide where the spectrum between the maximum and lowest possible sentence lay, they said.

And they added he also did not make it clear what he was treating as exceptional that entitled him to depart from the mandatory minimum sentence.

Three judges disagreed and said the sentence was not unduly lenient because it was suspended. But they said it should have had conditions.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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