Woman found with drugs outside Garda station

A recovering addict who had been caught in a car park next to Galway Garda Station with tin foil containing heroin on her lap was given a chance to co-operate with the probation services and remanded on continuing bail.

Fiona Harlowe (31 ) with an address given as 10 Sli Burca, Ballymoneen Road, Knocknacarra, appeared at Galway District Court last Wednesday and pleaded guilty to possession of heroin at Mill Street car park on December 21, 2007, and to the theft of three pairs of jeans, valued at €225, from Debenhams, Eyre Street on September 16, 2008.

Inspector Pat McHugh told the court that on December 21, 2007 at Mill Street car park a Garda officer had recognised the defendant and approached the car Harlowe was sitting in. The garda could clearly see a tin foil on the defendant’s knees which contained a brown substance. The substance was immediately seized and sent for analysis. It was confirmed that it was heroin.

Defence solicitor Sean Acton said that his client had been with her brother in the car and that the quantity of the drugs was minimal - approximately 0.11 gram of heroin. He said that the defendant had problems with her own addiction which had “destroyed her life” and that her children now live with her parents.

Mr Action said that Harlowe is now trying to get her life back together, is co-operating with social services, is on a methadone programme, and attends counselling twice a week. The court heard that Harlowe has taken even further steps by very recently moving out of Galway to Loughrea.

Judge Mary Fahy commented that just by the defendant’s appearance she seemed to have improved a lot. She added that Harlowe’s partner at the time had not been suitable to look after children.

Inspector McHugh then informed the judge of the defendant’s previous convictions which include a four month sentence in March 12, 2007, for burglary.

“The charges don’t involve any violence. When there is no violence and the defendant is trying to address addictions I have no difficulty with referring her to the probation services. There’s a lot on her to co-operate with them,” said Judge Fahy who then remanded Harlowe on continuing bail until February 23, 2009, for a probation service report and for sentencing.


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