Teen coke dealer turns down chance to avoid criminal record

Teen coke dealer turns down chance to avoid criminal record

A DUBLIN youth caught dealing cocaine has turned down a chance to be spared a criminal record.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing €940 worth of cocaine at his home in Ballymun in north Dublin on a date in January last year. 

Garda Garvan Lennon obtained a warrant to search the teen’s home after he received a tip-off, Judge John O’Connor heard.

The cocaine was seized along with €380 in cash as well as 350 tablets,  which were not illegal substances.

The cocaine was in two bags and the tablets, which were not controlled drugs, were bagged for sale or supply, the court was told.

The cash was also in multiple denominations, the garda told the court.

The boy's phone was seized and examined. Gda Lennon said there was “phone traffic in relation to drug dealing”.

The boy, then aged 16, was arrested and claimed the drugs were for his own use even though they were bagged.

The court heard that he had no prior criminal convictions and does not have other charges pending. Judge O’Connor said the teenager was “dealing extensively” and the charges were serious.

Defence solicitor Brian Keenan told the court that the teenager has not continued to come to Garda attention

The teen’s worried mother sat close to her son and Judge O’Connor her told her that her son could be suitable for taking part in a restorative justice scheme which could see him spared both a sentence and a criminal record.

Addressing the boy, Judge O’Connor told him a conviction would “leave you ruined for life” and damage his chances of employment or the chance to go to a number of countries.

However, the youth did not want to take the opportunity of taking part in the restorative justice programme.

Judge O’Connor told him that the options the court was left with were 10 community sanctions and a custodial sentence. 

He adjourned the case until a later date for a pre-sentence probation report to be furnished to the court.