D.P.P.-v- Andrew Dermody, [2006] IECCA 164 (2006)

Docket Number:180/05
Judge:Hardiman J.


Hardiman J. 180/05

Budd J.

O'Neill J.






JUDGMENT of the Court delivered the 21st day of December, 2006, by Mr. Justice Hardiman.

This is an application for leave to appeal against a sentence of seven years imprisonment imposed at Carlow Circuit Criminal Court by His Honour Judge O'Shea. The applicant had pleaded guilty to the offence of possession of a controlled drug contrary to s.15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. The particulars of offence were as follows:"Andrew Dermody on the 21st day of April, 2004, at 33 Dereen Heights, Tullow Road, Carlow, had in his possession a controlled drug, namely cocaine, for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying it to another in contravention of regulations made under s.5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1997, the market value of which drug amounted to 12,697.38 or more."

The applicant lived at the address stated in the indictment with his mother. The drugs were found in his bedroom during a garda search which took place in his absence. Having been telephoned by his mother and told about the find of the drugs he returned home and spoke to the gardaí. He frankly admitted that the drugs were his but flatly declined to say where he had got the cocaine other than that he had purchased it in Dublin for 18,000. This made the quantity of drugs seized, in the words of the garda witness "the largest seizure that has come before the Courts in Carlow in quite a number of years".

The applicant is a person who, it was agreed, is addicted to cocaine. He told the gardaí that he was proposing to sell the drugs which were found in his room in small quantities around the Carlow area. A weighing scales was found associated with the drugs.

The applicant spoke freely to the gardaí who interviewed him, though they expressed incredulity at some aspects of what he said. He claimed to have been dealing in cocaine for only three weeks or so and in cannabis for a longer period, about six months. He gave them details of the market price at which he acquired and sold on the drugs. He was untroubled by his activities on the basis that if he didn't do it someone else would. He said there was a lot of drugs in Carlow:"If you ask any ten year old of my street, they'd tell you how to weigh grams, sure every second house up my way has a drug dealer in it or they've been caught with drugs."

He said he had bought the cannabis to sell it on to make money, and also to supply himself. A guard put to him:"I put it to you that are a drug dealer and supplier in Carlow town, that you have a regular client/customer base and that you have been dealing cocaine for more than three months to have such a base formed at this stage. You are a dealer and supplier and a big one at that?"

To which the applicant replied:"Yeah, and I'm caught now. There will be five or six more to take my place, that's true. I'm far from big."

The applicant said...

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