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Guilty plea Young Cork woman caught with €28,000 worth of heroin hidden in nappy is jailed

Gardaí also arrested a man who was in the house and found €4,450 cash in envelopes which the man claimed belonged to another man who had just run out the back

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A young Cork mother who was found with €28,000 worth of heroin hidden in a nappy has been jailed.

Kaitlin O'Driscoll (21) travelled from Cork on May 17 last year with cash an unidentified man had given her and went to a house in the south city centre where she collected the drugs, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.

Garda Conor McShane told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that gardaí carrying out surveillance on the house on Bride Street, Dublin 8, moved in and stopped O'Driscoll.

They searched her and found 200g of heroin, with an estimated street value of €28,000, wrapped up in a nappy in her bag. O'Driscoll became upset and gardaí made arrangements to safeguard her child while she was taken into custody.

Gardaí also arrested a man who was in the house and found €4,450 cash in envelopes which the man claimed belonged to another man who had just run out the back.

O'Driscoll of Courtown Drive, Knocknaheeney, Cork, told gardaí that she had taken a train up to the capital that day to “do a favour” for somebody who she could not identify.

She took a taxi from Heuston station to the house and handed in three envelopes of cash to the man.

She said the man gave her three white bags and she wrapped them in a nappy.  She said she was numb and scared for her child and knew the package was probably drugs but not heroin.

She told gardaí that she believed she was picked to do the “favour” because she was vulnerable because of her own drug addiction problem. She said because of the difficult situation in her own home, which included drug use, she felt she couldn't leave the child with anyone else.

She was doing this to make ends meet, she told gardaí. She subsequently pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply.

The court heard she has 15 previous convictions for theft but none for drug dealing.

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Fiona Murphy SC, defending, told the court that the fact that her client had taken her child with her for this crime was an indication of her hopeless and desperate situation. Gda McShane agreed with Ms Murphy that her client cut “a fairly pathetic figure with her small child” on the day.

She said she and the other man arrested were desperate vulnerable people used by more sinister individuals.

“She felt she had no option,” counsel said. She said O'Driscoll was genuinely remorseful.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that O'Driscoll has made admirable efforts to engage with the services available to her while on remand in prison and is now clean of drugs apart from methadone.

She said she was a cog in the wheel of the drugs trade in the city but said that she had to mark the seriousness of the offence due to the high value of the drugs.

She backdated a prison term of three and a half years to the date of her arrest last May. She suspended the final 18 months on condition that she engage with the Probation Service addiction support programme.

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