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Mum fined €250 over stash of fake cigs

A MOTHER of four claimed responsibility for more than €1,300 worth of counterfeit cigarettes, even though they did not all belong to her, as she didn't want to get anyone else into trouble.

Lida Sutcliffe (37) claimed that she planned on sharing the cigarettes with her extended family, but she took responsibility as she didn't want to implicate anyone else.

A judge fined Sutcliffe €250 and ordered that the cigarettes be confiscated.

The defendant admitted before Blanchardstown District Court possession of cannabis as well as possession of 16 cartons of John Player Blue cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps. The value of the cannabis was €20 while the cigarettes was €1,350.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan said gardai obtained a search warrant and searched Sutcliffe's home at Whitestown Park in Blanchardstown under warrant on July 23 last.

During the search, gardai found 16 cartons of cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps on top of the fridge in the kitchen.

A small piece of cannabis, worth €20, was also found in a drawer in her bedroom.

The court heard the defendant has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Tanya Moeller said Sutcliffe was very embarrassed about her behaviour, and had given up smoking since the incident.

Ms Moeller said the defendant was not a regular cannabis user and was terrified of going to jail or of having a sentence hanging over her.

Judge Brian Sheridan fined Sutcliffe €250.