“Bottom scum” dealer gets a year in prison

Another Athlone heroin dealer who refused to give any details of those higher than him in the drugs chain, was called “bottom scum” by a judge before he was taken away to start a 12-month jail sentence this week (November 21 ).

Earlier, Inspector Aidan Minnock told the court how gardaí on patrol at around 2.15pm on April 27 had seen Martin Doyle (34 ) of Marine View, Athlone at nearby St Kieran’s Terrace and that: “He seemed nervous when he saw the squad car”.

“Garda Lucas informed Mr Doyle he was going to search him under the Misuse of Drugs Act ... and in one of his pockets he found 12 deals of heroin, worth €395,” said the inspector.

“Quarter past two, Mr Cooney? So, he was on his lunch round?” noted Judge Seamus Hughes.

“No, judge. It was later than that,” replied defence solicitor, Mr Mark Cooney.

“I call it the lunch round, Mr Cooney, because I feel many of these heroin dealers would get up later than you or me,” said the judge.

The inspector pointed out that Doyle had 34 previous convictions, the most recent being from Athlone District Court on March 16, 2011 when he received a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, for four drug dealing convictions.

“Where do you buy your drugs?”

“You need to make a phone call,” said Doyle.

“Would you give me the number?” asked Judge Hughes, and Doyle shook his head.

“So, there’s harder men than you in Athlone,” noted the judge.

“Aren’t you involved in the most horrific type of life? Can you imagine bringing a son into this world?” he continued, before Mr Cooney pointed out that Doyle had a 15-year-old son.

“Is that the type of life you want for your son? How many lives have you destroyed around Athlone? You don’t care what you’ve done to the brains of these respectable people, people I have to deal with once a week with their stupified eyes at the back of their heads,” he went on.

“You’re bottom scum, afraid to tell of anybody on a higher rung than you on the ladder. Time was, this was an attractive town before this,” he lamented.

“No, Mr Cooney. He’s had 34 previous chances and he hasn’t taken one of them. If I was a betting man I’d bet he’d be back in front of me in a month. I mean, he’s not happy with his social welfare provided by people who have to work hard to put food on their tables. This isn’t good enough for him. Oh you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. I have to send a message out from this court,” concluded Judge Hughes.

He reactivated the suspended four months, and then added a further eight months for the 12 bags of heroin.

“Next time I’ll refuse jurisdiction, and you can go to the Circuit Court where you’ll get five years,” he concluded.

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