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Pregnant dealer begs judge not to jail her

A PREGNANT woman who admitted drug-dealing charges has asked a judge not to jail her because she does not want her baby to be born in prison.

Chereen Gannon (26), an out-of-work caterer, was caught twice by gardai selling heroin on the streets.

A court heard she was 27 weeks pregnant and her lawyer asked a judge not to put her in custody.

Judge Catherine Murphy said she would consider giving her a suspended sentence and adjourned the case against her until two months after her due date in August.

Gannon, of South Circular Road, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to sell or supply at Lower O'Connell Street on February 17, 2012 and in an incident two years earlier at Middle Abbey Street, on April 24, 2010.

HABIT

In the latest incident, a garda stopped her and told her she was being searched. She handed over a deal of heroin worth €100.

In the previous incident, gardai saw her acting suspiciously and searched her, finding €400 worth of heroin.

Gannon had been co-operative with gardai and admitted committing the offences to feed her own habit.

She had eight previous convictions, including some for possession, but had not come to the attention of the gardai since the latest crime.

A letter written by the defendant about her own background was handed into court.

Gannon had held a job in catering for five years, her lawyer said. She began using heroin when she was 18.

Gannon had ended up in intensive care in hospital after she developed asthma from smoking heroin.

The court heard the accused was 27 weeks pregnant and was anxious about the possibility of a jail sentence.

"She does not want her child to be born in prison," Gannon's lawyer said.

Judge Catherine Murphy said while she would normally impose a custodial sentence in the circumstances, the accused's letter was "very impressive and persuasive".

aphelan@herald.ie


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