A WOMAN facing the prospect of a 10-year mandatory jail term for having a €108,000 stash of cocaine has avoided custody as the judge described the case as exceptional and imposed a fully suspended sentence.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a sentence of five years suspended for a period of five years on condition that Lyndsey Dawson would commit no further offences for a period of five years.
Detective Garda John Sheedy brought the case against Dawson of Upper Clevedon, Carrigaline.
The Defence senior counsel Siobhán Lankford said, “This was her first time doing anything like this.”
Det Garda Sheedy agreed and said: “She had never done anything like this before and she probably will never do anything like this again.”
Dawson said she had been approached prior to this occasion to hold a stash of drugs and she refused to do so but obviously did on this occasion.
Ms Lankford asked the judge to impose a fully suspended sentence, saying that it was an unusual case and in terms of getting into the category of case where a suspended sentence could be justified, Dawson “ticks all the boxes.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “In this case Det Garda Sheedy applied for a search warrant and went to the lady’s premises. One and a half kilos of cocaine was found with a street value of €108,000.
“It is a very significant amount of illicit drug. A prison sentence is well indicated.
“Det Garda Sheedy is a very experienced guard who is fully familiar with drug-dealing and people involved and he has given open evidence that this lady had no prior involvement and is unlikely to be involved again.
“She previously refused and succumbed because of a drug debt. She pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.
“I regard this as a truly exceptional case — out of the normal realm.
“It is now past the second anniversary of the date of detection. She has done a lot to help herself since then.”
The judge imposed a five-year sentence suspended on condition that she would commit no further offences in the next five years.