Man spared 'stiff' sentence for counterfeit Viagra seizure

Thomas Carney (56) attempted to smuggle between €6,000-€15,000 worth of counterfeit Viagra into the State via Dublin Port
Man spared 'stiff' sentence for counterfeit Viagra seizure

Tom Tuite

A Dublin man caught with 3,000 counterfeit Viagra tablets has been spared a “stiff sentence”.

Thomas Carney (56), of Phibsboro Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty to offences under the Irish Medicines Board Act after the case arose from a Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) investigation.

Dublin District Court the value of the seized medication was between €6,000-€15,000.

HPRA solicitor Ronan O’Neill said the tablets were counterfeit Viagra and that Carney was accused of unlawfully importing them and placing them on the market.

Carney, who had no prior convictions, was caught bringing them through Dublin Port. The offence could carry a one-year sentence, a recorded conviction and a fine of up to €4,000.

Defence counsel Matthew Holmes asked Judge Anthony Halpin to note his client “made full admissions”. The father-of-three was currently not working and had suffered health problems.

"I am asking the court not to impose a stiff sentence," counsel said.

Noting the barrister's pun, the judge remarked: "He does not warrant a stiff sentence".

Judge Halpin took into account Carney's lack of prior offences and his guilty plea.

He adjourned the case until May 2023 to allow the accused to contribute €1,500 towards the HPRA's costs.

The judge said he would apply the Probation of Offenders Act if the sum was paid, leaving him with a clean record.

Legal aid was granted in the case.

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