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Locked up Postal worker caught with almost €80k of cannabis jailed

He told gardaí he was ordered to transport the drugs after he borrowed €10,000 from a street lender to help pay off gambling debts.

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A postal worker who was caught in possession of nearly €80,000 of cannabis herb has been jailed for two and a half years.

Darren Cumberton (26) was arrested after gardaí caught him moving some of the drugs from a van to a car in Dublin in April 2021. The total value of the cannabis herb was €79,000, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Monday.

Cumberton, with an address at Lanesborough Square, St Margaret's Road, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of drugs for sale or supply at Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7 on April 15, 2021.

He told gardaí he was ordered to transport the drugs after he borrowed €10,000 from a street lender to help pay off gambling debts.

He had amassed very large debts after developing a gambling addiction, Detective Garda Ronan Doolan told Michael Hourigan BL, prosecuting.

He owed €15,000 to the Credit Union and gambled away a €25,000 pay-off he received in an unfair dismissal case, the court heard. At the time of his arrest, his partner had just given birth to their baby.

Cumberton was caught by gardaí after they received a tip-off about the drugs, the court heard. He was seen moving two kilos of cannabis herb from his van into a car at a car park.

When Cumberton was pulled over, a further two kilos of the drug was found in the van. The driver of the car was also arrested and is still before the courts.

Cumberton has no previous convictions. He was sacked from An Post after his arrest and is now working for another company.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said his client was struggling with a gambling addiction and significant financial losses when he borrowed money “off the streets” to try and pay off some of his debts. He was suffering from suicidal ideation at the time, the court heard.

He has a good employment history and has always worked. His family are supportive and have never been in trouble with gardaí.

His partner continues to support him. He also has partial custody of a child he had with his former partner, Mr Le Vert said.

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Mr Le Vert urged Judge Martin Nolan not to impose a custodial sentence, citing a number of mitigating factors including his client's remorse, good employment history, cooperation with gardaí and lack of criminal history. He is at a low risk of reoffending and has received treatment for his gambling addiction, the court heard.

Judge Nolan said he would depart from the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, but that the case was not exceptional enough to merit a non-custodial sentence.

He jailed Cumberton for a period of two-and-a-half years.

“But for the mitigation in this case, the sentence would have been higher,” the judge said.

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