Ill man’s house used for preparing drugs

by Gazette Reporter
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By Fiona Ferguson

A seriously ill man who allowed his home to be used for the preparation of drugs in order to fund his funeral expenses has avoided a jail term.

Philip Wesley (57), who suffers from advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), said he had been given 12 months to live before committing the offence in 2019 and did not want his children to have to pay for his funeral expenses.

Wesley, of Sandyhill Gardens, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to allowing his home to be used for the preparation of drugs in July 2019.

Garda Conor Garland told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that gardai gained entry by force to the house and found Wesley and two other men inside. The two co-accused tried to escape into the back garden, but were caught by gardai.

Gardai recovered deals of heroin with a street value of €6,900 from the house, as well as bagging material and other drug paraphernalia.

One of the men has already been dealt with by the courts and received a 18 months suspended term.

Wesley has 25 previous convictions for road traffic offences dating back to 2002.

Gda Garland agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that his client was a “sick man”

Mr Spencer said Wesley had been worried that his children would have to pay for his funeral and committed the offence to get money for funeral expenses. He said Wesley had “got in touch with people locally”, but immediately regretted it.

Gda Garland said Wesley was the lowest in the group involved and probably had no choice.

Judge Sheahan had adjourned the case after hearing evidence to allow documentary evidence of Wesley’s health conditions be put before the court.

She noted that serious ill health had been his motivation for offending, that his culpability was at the lowest level of those before the courts and there was an element of duress.

She took into account that he had been out of trouble for 20 years prior to this offending.

Judge Sheahan imposed a one and a half year sentence which she suspended in full.

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