Man jailed for 16-months for storing €153k drug haul after threats to daughter’s life

by Gazette Reporter

A father-of-two who stored more than €153,000 of drugs when dealers threatened to kill his daughter has been jailed for 16 months.

During a search of Brendan Heaney’s home in Kimmage, gardai found a “multiplicity” of drugs including heroin and various pharmaceutical tablets.

After his arrest, Heaney (51) told gardai that his daughter was a recovering crack cocaine addict and that she had run up debts of €26,000 to a drugs gang based in Finglas.

He said people came to the house where his daughter and her mother lived and threatened to smash it up and kill her.

Heaney, of Larkfield Gardens, Kimmage pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of drugs for sale or supply at his home on April 4, 2017.

These drugs included 395g of heroin with an estimated street value of €55,246, as well as numerous Diazepam and other tablets.

Heaney also admitted keeping or supplying pharmaceutical drugs in breach of the Medicinal Products Act. The drugs found included Zoplicone, Alprazolam and Ethylhexedrone, a cocaine substitute.

Judge Martin Nolan said he had the “unenviable task” of passing sentence. He accepted that Heaney was forced into the crime because of his daughter’s “predicament”.

Garda Peter Lyons told the court that Heaney said the drug dealers had threatened to slash his daughter’s face. She repeatedly tried to kill herself by overdosing and when she was released from hospital, the men returned and took away her car.

Heaney told gardai she then went to him for help. He agreed to collect and store boxes for the gang.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said his client never profited from the operation and was only taking part to stop his daughter being killed.

Judge Nolan noted that Heaney had received a five-year sentence in the UK for drugs possession, but accepted this was an old conviction. He further accepted that Heaney had been law-abiding since and had done the best for his family.

The judge said he could depart from the mandatory minimum sentence of ten years for drugs offences of this kind and imposed 16 months in prison.

At a hearing before Christmas, Judge Nolan acceded to a request from Mr Bowman to defer the sentence until early this year because of Heaney’s family circumstances.

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