A Ballincollig man who got suspended jail terms twice in the past for drug-dealing was not as lucky when he was caught for the third time.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin has sentenced 38-year-old Alan O’Dwyer of 144 Castlepark, Ballincollig, County Cork, to 18 months in prison at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Detective Sergeant Joe Young outlined the background to the incident which occurred on March 23 2020 at Summerhill North, where Gardaí Ruth Healy and Gavin Breen observed O’Dwyer acting suspiciously.
The accused was walking down Summerhill North carrying a gear-bag in his left hand and he appeared to the gardaí to be nervous. He produced his mobile phone in his left hand.
When stopped and searched the 38-year-old was found with plastic bag containing white powder. Gardaí believed it was suspected cocaine and he also had a weighing scales in his bag.
The defendant also had 13 Xanax tablets in his bag.
Following that seizure the drugs were forensically analysed and found to be cocaine with a street value of over €11,000.
O’Dwyer pleaded guilty to having the cocaine for sale or supply on the occasion.
Det. Sgt. Young said the accused man had two previous convictions for having drugs for sale or supply.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was concerned that the accused got a two-year suspended jail term for the same offence in 2010 and on the second occasion in 2019 he got a one-year suspended sentence.
Det. Sgt. Young said his understanding was that the accused was a regular drug user who is from Ballincollig.
The judge was told there was a very positive report from a drug counsellor stating that the accused was behaving himself and was clear of drugs as verified by urinalysis.
Det. Sgt. Young said that at the time of the offence before the court in March 2020 the accused had been “on a bender for a few days” and had been addicted to cocaine for quite a number of years.
The judge said he could not ignore the fact that the accused man got suspended jail sentences twice in the past for the same type of crime.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “There is an element of unreality here. No matter how I look at it there has to be a custodial sentence. He is making efforts to rehabilitate himself.”
The judge imposed a sentence of two years with the last six months suspended.