Jail for Cork woman who used tennis ball to conceal €7k worth of heroin

Jail for Cork woman who used tennis ball to conceal €7k worth of heroin

A tennis ball was used to conceal a €7,000 stash of heroin by a woman who tried to throw it out the window of her home in Mallow to evade a drugs search and now she has been jailed for one year.

Jacinta O’Brien was sentenced by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to two years with half of the prison term suspended.

The judge acknowledged during the sentencing hearing, “Undoubtedly she was an advanced addict in need of treatment.” 

Alan O’Dwyer defence barrister explained that through no fault of the accused she had been unable to get into Coolmine but was suitable for admission as soon as a place would become available. He said the steps she had taken were exceptional.

“She met the required needs but no bed is available at the moment,” Mr O’Dwyer said.

The 34-year-old living in the Mallow area was caught dealing heroin and anti-depressant tablets, Alprazolam.

Garda Brendan McGarry testified that on August 3, 2019 she was caught with the Alprazolam valued at over €500, for which she was charged with having it for sale or supply.

There was a follow-up search under warrant one week later on August 10, 2019 at her home at Sun Villa, Spa Glen, Mallow.

“She held in her hand a tennis ball-sized package and attempted to discard it out the window but she was prevented from doing so by gardaí.

“She admitted holding the Diamorphine (heroin) for onward supply,” Garda McGarry said.

The street value of the heroin was around €7,000.

“She made certain admissions. They were slightly contradictory. She has not got the trappings of wealth (from drug dealing). She has engaged with treatment,” Garda McGarry said.

Jacinta O’Brien previously got a suspended sentence for having drugs for sale or supply in 2018.

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