NewsCrime Desk

Smallhorne aided heroin drop to pay green fees but says he didn’t know it was gear

Smallhorne delivered keys to pay green fees
Smallhorne delivered keys to pay green fees

A GOLFER nabbed in connection with a €837,000 heroin drop but who dodged jail after saying he just wanted the cash for ‘green fees’ has warned others: “Stay away from them scumbags.”

This photogrpah shows Michael Smallhorne (57), from Ballyfermot, West Dublin, enjoying a day out on the golf course with pals – none of whom are involved in crime.

However, this week it emerged that Smallhorne’s love of the sport had landed him in a serious bunker.

He was given a five-year suspended sentence on Monday after a court heard he agreed to drop off a key and leave it in a car containing the drugs for €200 to pay his golf fees.

Smallhorne insisted he had no idea that the car was laden down with the drug shipment.

Speaking with the Sunday World at his West Dublin home, Michael said he was “pissed off” over what had occurred.

“I’m fed up with it,” he said. “A key is all I put in that f**king yoke [car].” Asked whether he was relieved at having avoided a custodial sentence he said: “Of course I was because I had nothing to do with it.

My solicitor told me to plead guilty. As far as I was concerned I was only pleading guilty to putting a key on a car.

“I knew nothing else. I hadn’t got a clue. I didn’t know there was anything in the car.

“I was asked would I put a key in a car over in Walkinstown – that your man had forgotten it.”

Asked what advice he would give anyone who receives a similar offer, Smallhorne replied angrily: “Stay away from them scumbags!”

He insisted Monday’s court hearing “was all about the key I put on the car. “I didn’t know it [the car] had anything in it,” he said.

“I didn’t know anything about it and that’s what was said the other day in court.

“I was asked to put a key on a car, I was told a man forgot a key. I thought I was to come back and get the key later. I knew nothing else.”

Smallhorne pleaded guilty to aiding another person at Limekiln Lane, Greenhills, Dublin in the commission of an offence of possession for sale or supply of drugs on February 4, 2016.

Lyons from the Garda National Drugs Unit said Gardaí were acting on confidential information regarding Smallhorne.

They stopped him in his car at Greentrees Park, Walkinstown.

A search of a Citroen car parked on the lane around the corner recovered 5.9 kilos of heroin.

After his arrest Smallhorne told Gardaí he was paid by an unidentified man to leave the keys for the Citroen on the wheel.

The man told him to go and have a cup of tea and in the meantime someone was going to come to the car, pop the boot and take something from it.

He was told he would be paid €200 for this, but he never got this money. He said he wanted the money to pay his golf fees.

Breffni Gordon SC, defending, said Smallhorne had a lack of understanding and no clear idea of the magnitude of his involvement in the offence.

When shown the amount of drugs found in the Citroen Smallhorne told detectives: “If I’d have known it was that much I’d never have gone near it.”

Judge Codd said she had to balance Smallhorne’s minor role in the operation with the quantity of drugs involved.

She suspended a sentence of five years on condition he keep the peace and take part in a victim awareness programme.

Smallhorne said he knew the person who asked him to take part in the operation through his local pub and he was in fear of him because he was aware of his reputation.

Mr Gordon said his client’s brother was a heroin addict and had begun calling to their mother looking for money to feed his habit.

Smallhorne began buying the heroin for his brother the previous year to stop this.

His 12 previous convictions date to 1980 and include convictions for drunk driving in 2006 and forgery in 1998.