Drug mule in Dublin caught after parking near garda station
A father-of-two who agreed to become a drugs mule to pay off a debt parked with a cannabis delivery in a bus lane around the corner from a garda station.
Christopher Fitzpatrick (39) was dropping off more than €2,000 worth of the drug when he was spotted with his hazard lights on by a garda who said he "kind of stood out".
Fitzpatrick, of McKee Park, Blackhorse Avenue, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply.
Judge David McHugh ordered him to carry out 120 hours of community service instead of a four-month prison sentence.
Blanchardstown District Court heard the incident happened at Fonthill Road, Clondalkin, last January 26.
Gda David Charles said he was on duty at 8pm when he saw a car stopped in the bus lane with its hazard lights on.
Believing the accused's behaviour to be suspicious, he asked to search the car and Fitzpatrick handed over a sports bag containing €2,120 worth of cannabis.
"He parked in an obvious place where he kind of stood out," said Gda Charles. "He didn't look like he was used to doing this. He was around the corner from the garda station He didn't do a good job of hiding the fact that he was there."
Fitzpatrick had worked as a courier, a doorman and in construction, his barrister Jennifer Jackson said.
He had been struggling to pay bills and took a loan from someone but was unable to pay it back. He was asked to do the "drop-off" to pay the loan and made a "very foolish decision".
Judge McHugh said it was a "very serious matter", but he was satisfied that the accused had made "a slip".
He warned that if there was any repeat there is "only one place he is going".