Cannabis charge  | 

Ex senior garda to be sentenced after pleading guilty to having over €13k drugs at his home

The offence is contrary to Section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act which can carry a 10-year sentence.

Former Garda Supt. John Murphy

Tom Tuite

AN EX-Garda Superintendent is facing sentence after signing a guilty plea in connection with a substantial cannabis seizure in Dublin.

The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) recovered drugs during search operations on September 29.

John Murphy, 61, was charged with possessing cannabis for sale or supply, worth more than €13,000, at his home in a north Dublin suburb.

The offence is contrary to Section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act which can carry a 10-year sentence.

On October 4, bail was set in his bond of €500, but a €20,000 independent surety was required. There was no Garda objection, but he did not take it up and has remained in custody.

He appeared today at Cloverhill District Court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed his case should be dealt with in the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.

However, the State did not have to prepare the book of evidence because Murphy wanted to be sent forward on a signed plea of guilty.

The DPP consented.

Detective Sergeant Brian Hanley brought three copies of the draft plea to the hearing today. Murphy was sworn in to sign them.

Defence solicitor Danica Kinane asked him to confirm that he agreed to be sent forward to the Circuit Court to be sentenced on a plea of guilty.

“That is correct,” the former senior garda replied.

She then read over the charge before he was asked did he plead guilty. "Yes, Judge," he answered before confirming his signatures and thanking the judge.

Accordingly, Judge Blake made the order sending him forward for sentencing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where he will face his next hearing on May 12.

He noted from Ms Kinane that Murphy was surrendering bail and consented to go forward to the next stage in custody.

The accused had been granted legal aid in November. It followed an application from his solicitor, who said the request was "based on the seriousness of the charges and his financial circumstances".

The defence furnished the court and the GNBCI with documentation supporting the application.

Judge Blake noted there was no objection to allowing continued legal aid for Murphy.

In addition, he ordered it would include representation of junior and senior counsel.

Following his arrest on September 29, the accused was detained at Irishtown Garda Station in Dublin, under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.

He was held for four days before gardai charged him on October 3.

At his first hearing the following day, Detective Sergeant Hanley said Murphy "made no reply after caution" when charged. His address was not read out due to security concerns.

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