A FATHER-of-two who was caught selling heroin to undercover gardai claimed he started using the drug again after his nephew died in a road crash.
Christopher Penrose (43) said he had battled a drug addiction for over 25 years and returned to heroin when the death of his nephew affected him deeply. He was selling the drug to feed his own habit.
He apologised for his behaviour, saying he knew he had let down his elderly mother, with whom he lives and takes care of, as well as his two adult children.
Judge Patrick Mahon told Penrose that it was because of people like him that there were so many murders in Dublin.
He fined Penrose €400 and sentenced him to six months in prison suspended for one year.
The defendant, of Casement Road in Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to two counts of possession of heroin, as well as two counts of having the drug for sale or supply.
The incidents took place on Main Street in Finglas on July 14 last year, and three days later, on July 17, on Church Street, also in Finglas.
Garda Eoin Browne said that on both occasions Penrose sold three deals of heroin to undercover gardai. The total street value of the drugs was €110.
The court heard that Penrose, a separated father of two, had 26 previous convictions, dating back over 20 years.
Defence solicitor Amanda Connolly said Penrose has had a heroin problem since 1984, and is now stabilised on methadone.
The court heard that Penrose's nephew died around the time of these incidents, and his death affected him deeply.