Carer prosecuted over heroin haul

by Ian Begley
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The Central Criminal Court where a man was jailed for the online sexual exploitation of a teenager

A full-time carer is to be sentenced later after he was caught carrying just under €37,000 of heroin in a 10-litre mayonnaise bucket.
James Noonan (20) of Nangor Road, Clondalkin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing heroin for sale or supply at Balgaddy fields, Ronanstown, on April 17, 2012.
The court heard that Noonan lives with his grandparents and is a full-time carer for his grandmother, who suffers from liver disease and dementia.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring said she would delay sentencing for the benefit of his grandmother.
Garda Colin Sullivan told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Noonan was spotted walking through waste ground at Balgaddy fields, between two housing estates while carrying a 10-litre mayonnaise bucket.
Gardai found him soon after sitting in an old brick shed off Lynch’s Lane, weighing up a brownish substance in half a beer can. He was arrested and another bag of the substance was found in his pocket.
The powder was later analysed and found to be 246 grammes of heroin, with a street value of €36,981.
Noonan told gardai he had been told to pick up heroin in a mayonnaise bucket that would be hidden in long grass in the field.
The bucket contained two bags of heroin, weighing scales, a roll of bags and a spoon.
His instructions were to weigh the heroin and put 28 grammes into each bag.
He said he didn’t know how much he was going to be paid but that he had done it a few times previously and had received between €200 and €300.
He has no previous convictions and a probation report places him at low risk of re-offending.
Tom Neville BL, defending, said his client was at the “bottom rung of the ladder”. He said there was an “element of fear” in the offence and that Noonan suffered considerable injuries some months later in a related incident.
He said one of Noonan’s best friends had taken his own life five months previously and that Noonan found the body.
“This started a trigger of events from someone who had no previous history of causing trouble at home or coming to Garda attention,” he said.
The court heard that Noonan had been drinking and using a small amount of drugs at the time.
Mr Neville said Noonan takes full responsibility for making bad decisions and cannot say enough about how much he regrets the offence.
He is working once a week in a garage where his employer describes him as bright and willing. He intends to take up an apprenticeship but at the moment is a full-time carer for his grandmother.
Judge Ring remanded Noonan on bail to consider how to balance his personal circumstances and the statutory requirements of the law. He is due to be sentenced on May 14, next.

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