WOMAN GIVEN SIX MONTHS FOR CRIMES
A woman who denied dealing drugs while Gardai watched her drive around Dundalk handing over small packages and getting money has been given a six month sentence, but allowed to appeal.
Grace Flanagan, (28), 5 Culhane Street, was found guilty last year of possession of drugs for sale or supply after Gardai saw her driving around Dundalk, meeting known drug users at junctions and handing over what Gardai said were drugs on July 14 2015. When she was arrested, she was found to have more than €1330 in cash on her, as well as a small amount of heroin and two D10 tablets.
In addition, Gardai found what they said were three ‘ tick lists’ on her. The defendant pleaded guilty to having no insurance when she was stopped at the Avenue Road on December 18 2015 after a short chase and to similar offences at Culhane Street on March 23 last year.
Flanagan pleaded guilty to possession of drugs at Culhane Street on May 16 when Gardai raided her house and found five bits of tinfoil that contained traces of heroin.
Flanagan has 49 previous convictions, including for robbery and handling stolen property.
Solicitor Paula Tiernan said her client had been battling a drug addiction for some time and ‘when she spoke to the Probation Service she was very honest in relation to that’.
Ms Tiernan handed in a letter from the HSE to Judge Flann Brennan stating that Flanagan was due to meet a specialist on Friday in relation to a methadone course. She had been off heroin for a number of years, but a dispute with a family member caused her to go back on it after being drug free.
Ms Tiernan asked the judge to defer finalising the matters until Flanagan had stabilised on the methadone programme.
But Judge Brennan said he was ‘not prepared to simply adjourn this matter’ and said he wanted to hear from Flanagan. The defendant said she had been in contact with addiction services and added she had successfully completed a methadone programme while she had been serving a sentence in prison and she intends to fully engage with the services, if she got the opportunity.
Judge Brennan said there were ‘an enormous number of offences’ before him and it was clear that ‘drugs have been at the heart of her problems with the law in the past’.
He said a probation report about Flanagan ‘doesn’t make for good reading’ and while he didn’t doubt her intention to get help with her addiction, ‘ the problem is that she has attempted this under the supervision of the Probation Service and she has failed’ and she is ‘in the throes of heroin addiction’ so there is ‘no hope of her doing it’.
He imposed a six months sentence and disqualified her from driving for seven years. He allowed her to appeal in her own bond of €100.