Tuam man went to buy heroin in Dublin flat when gardai raided it

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A Tuam man who was in a Dublin flat when gardaí raided it and caught another man bagging up heroin for street dealing has been remanded on bail pending sentence next February.

Gardaí accepted that David Doherty was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and he was simply in the flat to buy the €905 worth of heroin that was found on him.

He told gardaí he came to Dublin to spend €325 on heroin, some of which he would use and the rest he would “sell to his mates in Tuam”.

Doherty (28 ) of Ballinamona Park, Tuam, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of heroin for sale or supply on North Circular Road, on June 27, 2013. He has 49 previous convictions which were mainly for road traffic convictions.

His co-accused, Stephen Lunders (36 ) previously of Rathmines Road Lower, Rathmines pleaded guilty to the same charge in the same place. He has 28 previous convictions which included drug offences and is now living in his step-father’s home in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Lunders took full responsibility for the majority of the drugs which were found in the flat and had a total value of €14,383. He claimed he had been dealing to help pay off a drug debt his now deceased brother had run up.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned the men’s case until February 20, next to allow for them to be assessed by the Probation Service to ascertain their level of commitment to drug rehabilitation. “If they are not committed, I’ll commit them and it won’t be for drug treatment,” Judge Ring said before she remanded them both on continuing bail.

Garda Seamus Donoghue told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting that the flat was raided by gardaí following a tip off.

Doherty was searched and 6 grammes of heroin was found on him. He was arrested later and made various admissions to gardaí in a subsequent interview. He said he had not been in the flat for more than 15 minutes and had no idea how much drugs were in the house

Gda Donoghue said Lunders was also searched and two ounces of heroin, worth €9,000 was found in his front left jean pocket, while €1,010 in cash in back right pocket.

A coffee table in the centre of the room had a plate with loose heroin on it. There was bagging beside the plate, which Gda Donoghue said was consistent with preparing the drugs for street dealing. There was also small made up deals on the table along with an electronic weighing scales.

Gda Donoghue agreed with Marc Thompson Grolimund BL, defending, that his client was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and he was only responsible for the heroin found on him. Counsel said Doherty is no longer taking heroin and is stable now on methadone. He is still unemployed but he is minding his children while his partner is taking part in a FÁS course.

Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said her client is still under a serious threat and debt which he is now responsible for since his brother’s death. She said he has moved out of the city centre and is now on methadone maintenance. She requested an adjournment to allow for her client to be assessed by the Probation Service.

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