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Heart patient caught smuggling jail drugs

A YOUNG woman with a heart problem who was "shaking like a leaf" when she tried to smuggle drugs into Mountjoy jail has been given a three-month suspended sentence.

Olga Kelly (23) appeared nervous as she passed through visitor security and immediately handed over the cannabis package she had hidden when a sniffer dog alerted staff.

Dublin District Court heard she had a heroin problem at the time and had been promised €150 for the drugs by an inmate of the jail. Judge Catherine Murphy suspended the sentence for a year after hearing the accused had been "naive".

Kelly, of St Teresa's Place, Glasnevin, pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle drugs and possession of cannabis.

Kelly was in treatment at Beaumont Hospital for a heart condition, her barrister Marc Thompson Grolimund said. She had 14 previous convictions, but most were for motoring offences and none were for possession of drugs. After the incident, she had informed gardai of her intention to plead guilty in the case. The court heard around 10 witnesses would have needed to come to court to prove the State's case if she had contested the case.

"When she was approached by the garda dog, she was shaking like a leaf," Mr Thompson Grolimund said. "Immediately when asked for the drugs, she gave them up. She was suffering from a heroin problem and had been offered €150 (for the drugs). She acted naively."

She was prepared to carry out community service but the judge said she would not be suitable. "This is a serious matter, as everybody is aware," Judge Murphy said.

She warned the accused if she offended again in the next year, the suspended sentence would be activated. She fined the accused €250 for the simple possession charge.