vulnerable | 

Man found with €135k worth of cannabis in home after being caught stealing clothes jailed

Mangan was also caught with a tinfoil-lined shopping bag which had been adapted for the purposes of shoplifting

Tinfoil bag (stock image)

Fiona Ferguson

A man who was found to be storing over €135,000 of cannabis in his home after being arrested for stealing clothes from Next has been jailed for three and a half years.

Paul Mangan (42) was arrested while in possession of stolen children's clothes inside a tinfoil-lined bag. Gardaí proceeded to search his home and found the drugs in seven vacuum-packed bags.

Mangan, of North Circular Road, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at his address on December 10, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a tinfoil-lined shopping bag, with intention for it be used in a theft at Henry Street, Dublin 1, on the same date in 2020. He has 51 previous convictions, including convictions for possession of drugs for sale or supply, theft and handling stolen property.

Passing sentence today, Judge Melanie Greally said she was taking into account the content of a reports before the court outlining Mangan’s adverse life circumstances and the successful steps he has taken to overcome significant addiction in the past.

Judge Greally noted he was a vulnerable person with mental health difficulties who was engaging positively with services available to him in the prison.

She noted there had been some degree of pressure in relation to holding the drugs and that he had said he had not been dealing.

Judge Greally sentenced Mangan to five years’ imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended.

Garda Kelly McKiernan told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, gardaí were informed that two men and a woman had taken items from the Next shop on Henry St and then left without paying.

Gda McKiernan said gardaí decided to look around the area for people matching the descriptions given and found Mangan nearby. Upon his arrest he was in possession of a tinfoil-lined Christmas bag which contained items of children's clothing from Next.

Gardaí obtained a search warrant for Mangan’s address and during a search on the same date, they discovered, inside a sports bag, seven vacuum-packed bags containing cannabis.

The total value of the cannabis was €135,762.

Gda McKiernan agreed with Barry White SC, defending, that his client has been in custody since his arrest in December 2020. She agreed Mangan was currently on methadone.

Mr White said his client's father died when he was approximately 12 and he began abusing alcohol and drugs.

Counsel said his client was under pressure to hold the drugs and it was clear he was not a drug dealer. He said his client had denied his DNA would be found on the packages and it subsequently was not found.

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