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Suspended sentence for Dublin man caught with 1,500 tablets

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A Dublin man who told his landlord that gardaí had put in the wrong door during a drugs search has received a three year suspended sentence for possessing 1,500 tablets at the premises.

The gardaí who had carried out the raid were later forced to defend a claim for damages after Alan Norman (40) claimed to his landlord that they had targeted the wrong address.

Norman, of Fitzroy Avenue, Drumcondra, was caught with around 1,500 tablets of a controlled substance during the search in August 2015.

Garda Kieran Hickey told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that on foot of confidential information he applied for a warrant to search the flat.

On August 5 gardaí forced entry into the premises where Norman and his mother were present. During a search they found the Xanax and Valium tablets.

Norman was arrested and told gardaí that he was storing the drugs to offset a €150 drug debt. The court heard he had a history of drug addiction but was now on a methadone programme.

After the raid Norman falsely told his landlord that gardaí had put in the wrong door. The landlord then put in a claim for the damaged door.

Garda Hickey said this was difficult to defend and involved a lot of work by gardaí.

Norman pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply at Fitzroy Avenue on August 5, 2015.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said his client was just storing the drugs for a drug dealer and Garda Hickey agreed there was no evidence of any wealth on Norman's part.

Judge Gerard Griffin noted that Norman was now drug free, off all medication and had only one previous conviction for a road traffic matter.

He suspended the sentence for three years on condition Norman engages with the Probation Services.