Hung jury in Monasterevin prison officer’s drugs trial

The jury in the trial of a Monasterevin prison officer who faced serious drugs charges has failed to agree on a verdict for the most serious of the charges.

The jury in the trial of a Monasterevin prison officer who faced serious drugs charges has failed to agree on a verdict for the most serious of the charges.

Trevor Gleeson (33), whose address is listed as Mountrice, Monasterevin, was arrested on December 22, 2009, following a short pursuit by Gardai at Grey Abbey Road, Kildare town.

Mr. Gleeson did not contest the fact that he was caught with drugs in his possession, but in his trial at Naas Circuit Court, his lawyers offered a defence of duress saying he was under threat from associates of the Limerick-based McCarthy-Dundon criminal gang to play a role in getting the drugs into the Midlands prison where he worked.

The trial before Judge Leonie Reynolds heard evidence that prior to his arrest, a man who is known to Gardai got into Mr. Gleeson’s car and gave him a bag of drugs.

Evidence was also heard of six interviews conducted between Mr. Gleeson and investigating Gardai where members of the McCarthy Dundon gang were named and idenitifed as being involved in a campaign of significnant and serious intimidation suffered by Mr. Gleeson.

According to transcripts of the interviews with Gardai, this included threats to kill him, to burn out his home, as well as making it clear that they knew what kind of car he drove, where he lived, where his wife worked and when she was pregnant.

At another point he was approached by a man in an underground car park in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, with a gun. “He knew these people meant business,” senior counsel for the defendant, Damien Colgan, told the jury in his closing argument last Friday.

It was proposed by his defence team that the defendant was identified as being vulnerable because he worked in the prison and had, in the past, a gambling problem.

The trial heard that Mr. Gleeson claimed he received no instructions as to what to do with the drugs and that it was his intention to dump them in a bin at Eurospar, Kildare town, in order to “buy himself some time”.

Mr. Gleeson faced one charge of dangerous driving, four counts of possession of the drugs and four counts of the more serious charge of possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply them.

The jury was sent away on Tuesday evening, December 11, to consider their vedict. They returned on Wednesday morning with a not guilty verdict to the charge of dangerous driving.

Later that day, they returned with a guilty verdict in the charges of possession of the drugs. It was a majority, rather than unanimous verdict, meaning that not all jurors agreed with it.

This morning, Thursday, December 13, the jury re-started their deliberations at 10.30am and at 11.50 returned to confirm that they were unable to agree on a verdict.

The case has been remanded back to February 26 for DPP directions.