Son of former Garda jailed for handling large amount of cocaine

Mr Wynne is escorted into court by gardai
Mr Wynne is escorted into court by gardai

A intellectually vulnerable man has been jailed for six years for handling cocaine worth over €138,000.

Eric Wynne (29) of Portland Place, Lower Dorset Street, Dublin was convicted by majority verdict of possessing the drug for sale or supply in a garage at Violet Hill Park, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 on September 11, 2009.

Wynne had pleaded not guilty to the charge at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He claimed he had been in the garage to help repair a motorbike. The cocaine had been delivered there previously by a taxi driver.

Today the court heard Wynne was in the bottom 99.7 percentile in intellectual ability. He continued to reject the verdict of the jury and indicated in court that he intended to appeal.

Judge Desmond Hogan said Wynne was “at the lower end of the scale but a valuable cog in this unpalatable industry.”

He imposed a ten year sentence with the final four years suspended and recommended that Wynne receive appropriate psychiatric help in custody. The judge also agreed to alert the Prison Service to the fact that Wynne was very vulnerable and might need special attention.

Wynne received permission to hug his disabled mother before being led away by officers while saying “great system, thanks” to Judge Hogan.

Co-accused Arthur Conroy (30) of Violet Hill, Glasnevin, pleaded guilty from the start when he was caught operating what was described as a “cocaine factory” from the garage to the rear of his house.

Conroy, who's father and grandfather served as gardaí, was sentenced to five years in prison, with the final three years and three months suspended, for possession of the drug for sale or supply.

Detective Garda Gregory Sheehan told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that gardaí searched the house using a warrant .

Conroy, ran out of the garage door when gardaí arrived while Wynne was found standing in the garage near a table with white powder on it.

Gardaí also found plastic bags and suitcases containing powder, tubs of creatine and other mixing agents, a hydraulic press, weighing scales and moulds.

Det Gda Sheehan said a block of white powder was on the table beside a rolling pin and an iron bar, and it looked as if the block was being broken down.

White powder was found on Wynne's t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, and his fingerprints were confirmed on tubs of creatine and on a roll of plastic bags.

Gardaí found a small quantity of about 15 grammes of cocaine in Wynne's pocket, which he admitted he had been given. However he denied involvement in possessing any of the 1,976 grammes of cocaine found on the premises.

The cocaine was given a market value of €70 per gramme, making it worth a total of €138,300.

Wynne has 16 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic offences. Two convictions from the Children's Court when he was a teenager relate to assault causing harm and theft.

Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, said the drugs had been traced back to a taxi driver who had delivered them to the address wearing blue latex gloves, but that the DPP had decided not to prosecute that man.

Mr O'Higgins said his client's psychological report prepared by an expert was “as depressing as one was likely to see”, detailing a history of borderline personality disorder, severe depression and two suicide attempts.

The court heard that Wynne had been sexually abused as a child and was described as having a “global intellectual disability” that made him “vulnerable to exploitation”.

The psychologist's report said there was “no doubt but that Mr Wynne's intellectual disability was central to his conviction”.

Wynne's mother, who suffers from severe arthritis and emphysema, told the court that her son was her sole carer and that she would be lost without him.

“I don't think I'd live too long without him; he's very good to me and to his children,” she said.