A Dublin heroin addict who had a leg amputated as a result of chronic health problems from drug use was caught transporting €34,000 worth of heroin to Cork when he got off the train at Kent station.
Detective Garda Pat O’Sullivan testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that on August 27, 2021, gardaí stopped Paul Marken at Kent railway station where he had gotten off the Dublin train in his wheelchair. A search was conducted and he was found to be in possession of a large quantity of diamorphine (heroin) in five separate bags.
“He was interviewed on two occasions and he said he was made to carry this heroin to Cork by unnamed persons,” said Det Garda O’Sullivan.
“He has a chronic heroin addiction. He said he was trying to discharge a €14,000 debt and that he had travelled from Dublin to Cork with heroin four of five times, and that he was told that €1,400 would be taken off his debt each time he travelled to Cork.
“On this occasion he had diamorphine with a street value of €34,000. When interviewed he made admissions against his interest.
“He lived in Canada. Of significance he was convicted of drug trafficking there and got two months in prison in Canada in 1994 in Vancouver Court.
“Originally from Dublin, he went to Canada in the 80s/90s where he got involved in longstanding, chronic heroin use.
“He has serious health issues as a consequence of heroin use, and as a result he is in a wheelchair,” Det Garda O’Sullivan added.
Defence barrister, Brian Leahy, said the 58-year-old got involved in serious drug use in Canada in the 1990s. He was naturalised as a Canadian citizen but that was withdrawn from him and he was deported as a result of criminal convictions.
“He lost his left leg though amputation in 2008 and later all his toes were amputated on his right foot. It is going to be more difficult for him in prison than it would for an able-bodied person.”
Judge Catherine Staines imposed a sentence of three years with half of it suspended.
“He is a chronic heroin addict and is a victim of the drug trade and of people who make vast sums of money on the misery of other human beings,” Judge Staines said.