Teen wore two pairs of boxers to conceal deals of heroin

CourtsBy Sunday World

A teenager who was wearing two pairs of boxer shorts in order to hide deals of heroin and keys to a van full of drug paraphernalia has avoided jail for street dealing.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply in Tom Kelly Flats, Tom Kelly Road, on October 7, 2014. He has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was still not clear what the teenager was gaining from his role but added that the law stated that prison should be the last resort for juveniles.

He said “imprisonment would not be justified at the moment” before he suspended a two and half year term on strict conditions.

Garda John Donnelly told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, that he was on routine patrol when he spotted the teenager. He suspected he may be selling heroin but when the boy saw gardaí, he ran off.

Gda Donnelly radioed a colleague who was able to block the boy's escape from the flat complex and after a brief struggle, he was arrested.

He was taken to the local garda station to be searched where gardaí spotted he was wearing two pairs of underwear.

He was instructed to remove the outer pair and three knotted bags of heroin, worth €675, fell to the ground along with the keys to a Renault Kangoo van which the teenager had been standing beside earlier.

Gda Donnelly said he returned to the flat complex and the Kangoo was parked up and locked. He opened it with the teenager's keys and discovered a further stash of heroin and other drug paraphernalia. Some of the drugs had already been bagged while some of the heroin was being prepared for distribution.

The total amount of heroin found was 70.5 grammes with an estimated street value of €9,785. The teenager was questioned but made no admissions.

Gda Donnelly confirmed that the boy didn't own the van but he had the only set of keys to it. Nobody has since made a claim for the vehicle and it was forfeited to the State at the end of today's hearing.

Gda Donnelly agreed with David Staunton BL, defending, that there was “a bigger picture”, with “others” involved, who were both more senior in terms of their age and position within the organisation.

Gda Donnelly accepted that other people had access to the van but said the teenager was the only one who had the keys for it.

He further agreed that the teenager previously had an active interest in both boxing and BMX bikes but he started associating with a negative peer group and using cannabis.

Mr Staunton told Judge Nolan that his client first came to the flats to buy his own cannabis before he was offered this opportunity to sell drugs himself. He accepted it was a very serious offence but submitted that his client was now “very much back on track” and was attending a back to education scheme.