No jail for Dublin mum who was “coerced” into storing almost €84k of cannabis

No jail for Dublin mum who was “coerced” into storing almost €84k of cannabis

A Dublin mother who was “coerced” into storing almost €84,000 of cannabis herb at her home to help her friend deal with a gambling debt has received a three year suspended sentence.

Lawyers for single mother Carol Murray (29) said she put herself “in danger” by helping her male friend, who had told her he and his daughter were at risk from third parties.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Murray “has become embroiled in a world that was alien to her” by storing the drugs.

Murray, of Myrtle Court, Baldoyle, pleaded guilty to possessing 4.1kg of cannabis herb worth just under €84,000 at her former Merchant Court premises in Baldoyle on October 4, 2014. She has no previous convictions.

Garda James McGeogh said Murray's friend had been the target of a surveillance operation, but was seen being driven by the mother-of-one to her apartment that day.

The surveillance team arrested the man near Newlands Cross on the M50 in a different car and found drugs in his vehicle.

Gardaí then stopped Murray in her car and got a search warrant for her premises.

They found cannabis herb packages on top of and inside a pink suitcase in the apartment.

Gda McGeogh agreed with Ms Biggs that her client was “naive” and had been under the influence of her co-accused, who was jailed for three years for his role in the offence.

The garda further agreed this man admitted in interview that he had coerced Murray into storing the drugs as he had been under pressure from third parties due to a gambling debt.

Ms Biggs submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that the co-accused, who had once been in a relationship with her client, had put mental strain on Murray to let him use her premises for keeping drugs.

Counsel said Murray “got nothing but pain as a consequence of her actions”.

Judge Nolan accepted that Murray's co-accused had been the “primary mover” but noted that the crime was serious.

He said that the facts suggested Murray was at the lowest possible level of involvement.

He took into account that Murray was a good, hard-working mother and that she was not likely to come before court again.

He suspended the three year sentence for three years.