A Midleton teenager caught dealing a variety of drugs worth over €60,000 got hooked on drugs from the age of 14 and now he has been given a five-year suspended jail term.
Now only 19, he was caught with the ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis more than a year ago and his addiction dates back to when he was very young.
David O’Donovan was sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court where Detective Garda David O’Shea confirmed that the young man had not been coming to the further attention of gardaí since he was caught in April 2020.
He was at risk of a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence but defence senior counsel Seamus Roche asked the judge to impose a fully suspended sentence on the basis of the defendant’s extreme youth when he became addicted and the extensive efforts he had made to rehabilitate.
Mr Roche SC said, “He is a young man who is attempting to rehabilitate himself. He has a very supportive family. He fell into this behaviour and found it hard to get out of it. In fact he was relieved to be found out.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “He was significantly involved as a dealer in the Midleton area. He had significant quantities of drugs and he was known to gardaí as a dealer.
“His progress – including regular urinalysis – and attempts to get work and rehabilitate are exceptional.
“The combination of his youth at the time of addiction, that he was fully addicted, his recovery and the manner in which he maintained recovery are wholly exceptional and allow me to impose a non-custodial sentence.”
The judge said five years would mark the seriousness of the matter and suspending it for a period of five years would act as a serious deterrent and moderator of the young man’s future behaviour.
The young man indicated he had been dealing in order to pay for a cannabis habit of several hundred euro a week.
David O’Donovan, with an address at Cherrywood Heights, Midleton, County Cork, previously pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy at Bailick, Midleton for sale or supply and to possessing cannabis for sale or supply at Cherrywood Heights in April of last year.
Detective Garda Diarmuid O'Neill said the teenager was stopped and searched by gardaí at Bailick in Midleton on April 1, 2020.
Gardaí uncovered cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy in two rucksacks.
A follow-up search of Mr O'Donovan's house led to the discovery of another stash of cannabis along with weighing scales and plastic bags associated with dealing.
Mr O'Donovan, who was 18 at the time of his arrest, was taken to Midleton Garda Station where he made full admissions in relation to his part in the buying and selling of drugs.
Detective Garda O'Neill said the accused was a large scale supplier of a number of drugs in spite of his youth. He had no previous convictions.
Defence counsel, Seamus Roche SC said that it was an immense source of relief for his client to be caught by gardaí and that it prompted his rehabilitation.