A 41-year-old Cork man who lost work during Covid ended up increasing his use of cocaine which culminated in him being caught storing €10,000 worth of the drug to clear his debt.
Detective Garda John Sheedy testified that he executed a search warrant at the home of Brian O’Mahony at 47A Oakmount, Tower, Blarney, County Cork, on May 2 2020.
“Cocaine with a street value of just over €10,000 was retrieved almost immediately. During interview, he admitted possession of the drug,” Det. Garda Sheedy said.
The defendant would distribute the cocaine when he received a phone call instructing him what to do with it.
“It happened during Covid. He developed an addiction. As a result of the addiction he stored the drug because of the debt he owed. He has turned his life around since. I don’t believe he will come to the attention of the drug unit again,” Det. Garda Sheedy said.
Defence barrister Peter O’Flynn said, “He developed an addiction to cocaine which put him under financial pressure and he built up a drug debt and agreed to store drugs. He was under pressure from the get-go. He did it to clear some of the debt.
“He began using it at the age of 19. In 2005 he stopped and was entirely drug free for ten years. In 2015 he started to use it socially on occasions. In 2020 he got laid off from work as a result of the Covid pandemic and his use of cocaine increased. At the time he had a life without any structure to it. He accrued debt. I would say he was somewhat taken advantage of.”
Judge Helen Boyle said, “The sum of €10,000 is not an insignificant sum. Bearing in mind the very fair evidence of Detective Garda Sheedy, the fact that he has no previous convictions and he has had a very significant wake-up call, I will impose an 18-month suspended sentence.”