Man discovered asleep on street deals of crack cocaine and heroin

by Padraig Conlon
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A father-of-three who was discovered asleep on street deals of crack cocaine and heroin beside a playground has received a fully suspended sentence.

Damien Gray (36) was caught by gardaí after they received a call that a man was asleep in Hermitage Park in Lucan.

When officers arrived, they discovered Gray by the playground and woke him up.

When he rolled over, they discovered a Kleenex packet with €5,700, worth of heroin in individual street deals. A further quantity of crack cocaine was later found.

Gray of Shancastle Close, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of heroin and cocaine for sale or supply on May 31, 2017.

He has 12 previous convictions, three for drug offences, all of which were dealt with in the District Court.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Cormac Quinn noted that Gray is now drug free and has not come to adverse garda attention since this offence.

Judge Quinn sentenced Gray to two years imprisonment, but he suspended the sentence in full on strict conditions including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months.

At an earlier sentencing hearing, Garda Ronan Culligan told Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that Gray was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Gray admitted that he got the drugs three or four days previously and that he was selling them because he needed money to live.

He said “someone else” had wrapped the drugs into individual deals and that he was going to sell the cocaine for €30 per bag and the heroin for €20 per bag. Gray said he “owed a fella €500” for the drugs.

He said he had been smoking heroin himself for the previous two weeks.

Gray told the gardaí “there would be trouble” when officers asked him what would happen now that the drugs had been taken off him.

The drugs were later analysed and the heroin was found to have a street value of €5,700 and the crack cocaine found to have an estimated value of €300.

Gda Culligan agreed with Justin McQuade BL, defending, that following his arrest Gray’s home was broken into and he was attacked with a machete. He has scarring as a result of this assault.

The garda also accepted that Gray had since “changed his life around”, that he was back living at home with his partner and was in “better health”.

He agreed that Gray had been struggling with substance abuse at the time of his arrest and that he was dealing drugs to pay off a debt and feed his own habit.

Gray’s partner told the court that Gray had a history of depression, drug addiction, suicide attempts and homelessness.

She said he was living rough at the time of his arrest because she had asked him to leave the family home because of his behaviour. He called her from the garda station, she took him home and got him help.

“He is a changed man,” she said before she confirmed that Gray was not taking any drugs, that he was working and she and their children “rely on him”.

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