Man serving jail term for arson given further sentence for drug possession

The accused had numerous previous convictions, including ten for having drugs for his own use.
Man serving jail term for arson given further sentence for drug possession

Rhys O’Connell pleaded guilty to having Diamorphine (heroin) for his own use on May 4 2020.

A 33-year-old man serving a jail term for arson of a school bus in Youghal has been given another jail term of four months for his eleventh conviction for drug possession.

Rhys O’Connell pleaded guilty to having Diamorphine (heroin) for his own use on May 4 2020.

The accused appeared at Cork District Court by video link from prison and pleaded guilty to the offence.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said gardaí went to Orchard Court in Blackpool where they found a parked car with suspicious activity alerting their attention.

There was drug paraphernalia in the car, including three pieces of tinfoil, Sgt Davis said.

“In a cautioned memo, he admitted the tinfoil containing a small amount of Diamorphine was his,” the sergeant said.

The accused had numerous previous convictions, including ten for having drugs for his own use.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the accused was serving a sentence of three years with the last year suspended and is due to be released in November this year.

“He is now clean of all substances. He is doing well in prison and is off Diamorphine and off all medication related to this,” Mr Buttimer said.

Arson

The accused got the two-year sentence for arson of the bus in Youghal when he was living at an address at Mochua’s Terrace, Clashmore, County Waterford.

At that sentencing hearing, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin – now retired - said, “If you boil it down it is really outrageous, no matter how drunk he was he identifies and takes possession of a school bus – he took it and set it on fire.

“Can you imagine the aggravation that caused the owner who had purchased it, done it up and then had to claim a few pounds from the insurance and at the end of it he is at a loss of about €6,000 – an ordinary, hard-working, industrious provider of a service to the community of Youghal.

“There is nothing behind this only the pure madness of drugs. He has a long history of being addicted to drugs.”

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