Cork prisoner caught with heroin and cannabis supplied by visitor 

Cork prisoner caught with heroin and cannabis supplied by visitor 

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said that the accused was put under pressure to pay a loan which another prisoner blamed him for accruing while in prison.

A 30-year-old man serving a sentence at Cork Prison was caught with €1,800 worth of heroin and over €200 worth of cannabis supplied to him by a visitor.

Aaron Butler from Waterford was – and still is - serving a seven-year sentence at the prison at the time when he was caught with the drugs on March 22 2019.

Sergeant John Kelleher said a prison officer monitored CCTV of the visiting area for that date.

“He saw a visitor removing a package from his pants and Aaron Butler took possession of it,” Sgt. Kelleher said.

Prison officers later approached the prisoner and retrieved the package from him.

It contained €1,800 worth of Diamorphine (heroin) and €239 worth of cannabis resin.

Defence said accused was under pressure from another prisoner

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said that the accused was put under pressure to pay a loan which another prisoner blamed him for accruing while in prison.

Mr Burke explained that the defendant had borrowed a mobile phone from a prisoner and this phone was disposed of so that the accused man, Aaron Butler, was not in a position to return it to the other prisoner. The solicitor said Butler was then told that he owed €1,500 as a result of this.

Mr Burke said the defendant’s visitor became aware of the threat the young man was under to repay this €1,500 and he brought the drugs into the prison to give to Aaron Butler, so that he could discharge the debt.

However, he was searched shortly after the prison visit and caught with the quantities of the two drugs for distribution in the prison.

Mr Burke, solicitor, said of the 30-year-old, “He suffers serious anxiety. He cooperated fully.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher said it was a serious matter to supply drugs in Cork prison.

“This was a considerable amount of heroin and it was detected by the monitoring done by prison officers.” 

The judge imposed an overall sentence of eleven months on the accused man. 

It will run concurrently with the longer sentence presently being served by Butler.

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