Woman (27) caught storing drugs worth €5k in Finglas home while on bail is jailed

She told gardaí that she was holding the €14,000 of cannabis for her “boss” in a bid to pay off a €1000 cannabis drug deb

Lauren Larkin© Paddy Cummins - PCPhoto.ie

Isabel HayesSunday World

A woman who was caught twice by gardai storing drugs in her house has been jailed for two years.

Lauren Larkin (27) had just over €14,000 worth of cannabis in her home in Finglas when gardaí carried out a search warrant in August 2020, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

A year later, when she was on bail for this offence, gardai raided her home again and found a quantity of cannabis and cocaine with a combined value of just under €5000.

Larkin told gardaí that she was holding the €14,000 of cannabis for her “boss” in a bid to pay off a €1000 cannabis drug debt she had accrued.

When the cannabis was seized, Larkin then engaged in drug dealing in an attempt to pay for those missing drugs, the court heard.

Larkin, with an address at Finglas Woods, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cannabis for sale or supply at her home on August 14, 2020, and one count of possessing cocaine for sale or supply at the same location on August 23, 2021.

She has eight previous convictions for road traffic offences.

Sentencing Larkin today, Judge Martin Nolan said that if it wasn't for the second drug offence, which occurred while she was on bail, he would have given Larkin a chance and not imposed a custodial sentence.

However, he said the court could not ignore a second offence. He handed down a one-year sentence for each offence and ordered that the sentences run consecutively.

Garda Craig Shields told Emmet Nolan BL, prosecuting, that after the first batch of cannabis was seized, Larkin told gardaí she was being paid between €400 and €500 to hold the drugs, which had been in her home for about two weeks.

The cannabis had a street value of €14,436.

After the cannabis was seized, Larkin started dealing cannabis to help pay off this bigger debt and also agreed to hold cocaine for a person she referred to as her “boss”.

The cannabis seized in the second raid had a street value of €786, while the cocaine was worth €3997.

Nicola Cox BL, defending, said her client had engaged in offending that was “far from sophisticated”.

She said Larkin had a very difficult childhood and was exposed to drugs at a young age.

She is someone who could be described as vulnerable and naive and was put under “significant duress” to hold the drugs, Ms Cox said.

Ms Cox urged Judge Nolan not to impose a custodial sentence, noting her client has made great strides in her drug issues and is now drug-free.

Larkin is a carer to her sister, who has serious medical issues, the court heard.

Judge Nolan agreed that there was excellent mitigation in the case, but said he must impose a custodial sentence.

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