Crime blunder: Woman selling heroin in Cork city didn't realise a garda was sitting beside her

Crime blunder: Woman selling heroin in Cork city didn't realise a garda was sitting beside her
Bus station, Parnell Place, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

A WOMAN who sold €2,800 worth of heroin to a man who walked into a café in Cork had no idea she was sitting beside a senior member of the drugs squad in the city at the time.

Detective Garda John Sheedy sat down in the café near Cork bus station on Parnell Place when the drug dealing literally played out beside him.

“I took a seat in the café. While sitting there, Ann Marie Cooling sat beside me. 

"She took a package from her bag. A person arrived and he handed her a large quantity of money. He took the package and left,” Det. Garda Sheedy testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today.

Ann Marie Cooling was arrested getting on to the Dublin bus and she had €2,800 in cash.

The man who bought the stash of heroin was also arrested by other officers and was dealt with previously in court.

Cooling, aged 37, with an address at Belvedere Place, Dublin, admitted a heroin-dealing charge has now appeared in court for sentencing.

Det. Garda Sheedy said, “While detained she admitted bringing drugs to Cork and collected cash for it and cash that was owed for other debts.” 

Defence barrister Shannon Biondi said the defendant was under pressure to carry out this transaction in Cork because of threats being made against her.

Ms Biondi said there were some texts of a threatening nature found on the defendant’s phone at the time.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that what was most relevant was that Cooling had no previous drugs convictions and had not come to the attention of gardaí since this crime was at Parnell Place on September 3, 2016.

“On that basis, notwithstanding the seriousness of the offence and even though she was fully engaged in it, since she 2016 she had behaved herself. I will impose a two-year suspended sentence,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.

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