By Brion Hoban and Fiona Ferguson
A father-of-two who was caught in possession of over €170,000 of illegal drugs has been given a seven year sentence with the final year suspended.
Gavin Murphy (36) told gardai at the time he had lost his job in a factory and had no money.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that he has since had a “wake up call”, is now clean of drugs and was committed to living a more prosocial life.
Murphy of Riversdale Crescent, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply at his then address of Landen Road, Ballyfermot, on January 13, 2020.
He has previous convictions for possession of drugs and road traffic offences.
Garda Lisa Sexton told Grainne O’Neill BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, gardaí executed a search warrant at the address in Ballyfermot, using a door rammer to gain entry to the premises.
Gda Sexton said gardaí asked Murphy if there were any drugs in the house and he pointed them towards a green lock-box hidden under the cooker. Gardaí also discovered drugs at various other locations in the house.
The total value of all the drugs found was over €170,000, including €128,689.40 of heroin, €33,734.05 of cocaine and smaller amounts of cannabis, MDMA and PVP.
Gardaí also seized seven mobile phones, some of which were found to contain messages relating to the selling and preparation of drugs.
Murphy told gardaí at the scene that he was in possession of the drugs to deal or sell them and he had been doing it for quite a while. He said he had lost his job in a factory and had no money.
Gda Sexton agreed with James Dwyer SC, defending, that his client made an admission without prompting that drugs were on the premises. She agreed a rolled up €10 note was found which was consistent with the nasal taking of cocaine.
The garda agreed with counsel his client told gardaí he had arthritis in every bone in his body. She agreed he appeared at the time to be someone who was using drugs, but did not appear to be someone who was currently using drugs.
Mr Dwyer said his client had been living with his parents as a condition of his bail. He said his client has two children and has access to them.
Counsel said his client instructs he has gotten clean of drugs without assistance. He said his client is now working for a delivery company.
Judge Melanie Greally noted a probation report described that Murphy has had a “wake up call” since this offending, is now in employment and focused on his family.
She said the impact of his addiction appears to have led him into the offending behaviour and noted that he has addressed his cocaine use and was committed to living a more prosocial life.
The judge said that his general co-operation and absence of previous convictions for similar offending allowed her to depart from the presumptive minimum mandatory sentence of ten years.
She placed it in the upper mid range of offending and set a headline of nine years.
She gave him credit for the improvements he has made to his lifestyle, the favourable reports before the court and his health issues. Judge Greally sentenced Murphy to seven years imprisonment and suspended the final 12 months.