Wexford man jailed for seven years
A WEXFORD man has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for his part in a drugs smuggling operation in Australia.
Brian Thomas Foley pleaded guilty to attempting to possess cocaine with intent to suppy; with conspiracy with intent to supply; with dealing with the $54,659.81 (€36,627.92), the proceeds of crime; and with two counts of using identification material to facilitate the commission of an indictable offence.
During last Thursday’s sentencing at Perth magistrates court, Judge Stephen Scott told Foley he was sentencing him on the basis that the role he played was less significant than that played by Liam Driscoll, who has already been sentenced.
However, the judge said a message needs to be sent as best it can by sentencing Foley ‘ to those who intend or contemplate dealing in drugs or being involved in any way in the distribution of high order drugs that they will receive.. significant, punishment in the event that they do participate’.
‘ The State accepts Driscoll was essentially the principal of this enterprise. He had been importing cocaine for a significant time before you got involved,’ said the judge.
‘Your involvement initially was by sending money on his instructions which were to go overseas. The money had been provided to you by Driscoll to recipients advised by Driscoll, knowing that the money was - you knowing that the money was to be sent to finance the purchase of drugs.
‘You were involved in the two deals involving nine ounces or about 250 grams of cocaine each. However, Driscoll financed those importations and the profits primarily went to him. The contact in Ireland who was primarily the source of the cocaine was Driscoll’s contact.’
Judge Scott said Foley, now aged 25, had a debt to Driscoll for the purchase of drugs.
‘ The drugs and moneys which you earned from your participation in the offences primarily went in reduction of those debts and also living expenses.
‘You were, however.. an important and trusted subordinate of Driscoll’s with respect to this enterprise.. it’s not a matter of trying to work out on a scale of one to 10 where you sit compared to Driscoll.. it is just is that he was the principal and you were a trusted - if not a lieutenant, somewhere around about the mark of a - certainly trusted subordinate of Driscoll.
‘And he did more than just give you instructions. He also treated you as somewhat of a confidante. So that he would have discussions with you about the disposition of the end product,’ said Judge Scott.
‘You had been involved in the importation and the sale of cocaine since at least November 2013. And that’s evident by the start of the money transfers in which you were involved over an 18-month period.
‘ The offences committed by you were not isolated acts, they weren’t just an aberration, but they were offences committed in the course of conduct of drug importation and ultimate sale over at least 18 months.
The judge referred to Foley’s friendship with fellow Wexford man Kenny Meyler who was stabbed to death in in 2013.
‘You came to Australia at 19. You became very close to Mr Meyler with whom you shared an apartment in Perth. He was tragically stabbed to death in February 2013. I see that he was in a coma for a couple of weeks prior to his death, and you maintained a daily vigil at this bedside.
‘It is clear that you were not only a very good friend of Mr Myler’s but you also were a staunch supporter of his parents which enabled them to get through as best they could the tragic circumstances.
‘ There’s no doubt that those circumstances of his death had a profound effect on you, and you do describe your life spinning out of control thereafter as you dealt with that trauma.’
The judge gave Foley a discount for some of his pleas of guilty of between 10 and 20 per cent.
‘I accept your remorse and I accept that you’re sorry for what you’ve done. I accept that you now have insight into the impact on those who take illicit drugs of a high order such as cocaine and the impact on the community generally caused by those who traffic in cocaine and other high order drugs.
Other than that, you are a relatively young man who comes to this court with high references and they are matters that I take into account.
The judge jailed Foley to four years attempting to possess nine ounces of cocaine, three years for conspiracy, 18 months each for the counts of using false identification - all sentencing to be served concurrently.
‘So that means that the total sentence that you are to serve is one of seven years,’ said Judge Scott.
‘ They are State offences, as a consequence of which the - insofar as eligibility of parole is concerned, That means you’ll be first eligible at the expiration of five years from the commencement of the sentences.
‘ The sentences will be backdated to and will commence on 4 September 2015. That means that you’ll be first eligible for parole at the expiration of five years, being five years from 4 September 2015.’ said the judge.
Brian Thomas Foley.