File photo: Portlaoise court case
A Monasterevin man sentenced to eight months in jail for selling cocaine has had an appeal against the conviction refused as he has failed to engage with the probation services.
Michael Franey, with addresses listed at Dublin Road, Monasterevin, and St Evins Park, Monasterevin, was convicted at Portlaoise District Court last September of drug possession, and having drugs for sale or supply.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence at the District Court that on May 7, 2016, the accused was observed carrying out a drug transaction with another individual and was arrested at the scene.
He was searched and 10g of cocaine worth €700 was found on him, along with weighing scales and assorted paraphernalia.
The accused had no previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said he had been feeding his own problem as he sporadically took cocaine.
However, Judge Catherine Staines said she was satisfied he had been involved in selling drugs for money.
“Drug dealing, especially cocaine, is a very serious offence. Young people with drug debts are threatened, but that’s not the case here,” said Judge Staines.
Judge Staines imposed eight months in jail for drug dealing, with the charge of drug possession taken into consideration.
Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.
When the appeal returned to Portlaoise Circuit Court recently, the court heard that Franey had failed to engage with the probation service.
Ms Troy said her client did not receive a letter from the probation service and the appellant informed the court he had been living in Portarlington for the past five weeks.
“You changed address and didn’t bother telling the probation service,” Circuit Court Judge Keenan Johnson told him.
The court heard that the appellant had also come to garda attention since the original offence.
Garda evidence outlined that the appellant had been arrested in Kildare after being observed acting suspiciously on June 4, 2017, and allegedly found to have two deal bags of cocaine on him.
There was further evidence given that on March 16 this year, the gardaí received a call to attend a pub in Monasterevin concerning a male matching the appellant’s description.
The appellant was found by gardaí with a list of names and monetary amounts believed to be a tick list.
No drugs were found on him on that date.
And the following day, March 17 this year, the gardaí observed a vehicle turn away from a garda checkpoint in Monasterevin, but they were unable to see the driver.
When the gardaí located the car there was a front seat passenger and two males in the back, but no driver.
The car was seized as there was no insurance or tax on it.
Garda evidence said that on this date the appellant was in the company of males known to be involved in cocaine use.
Ms Troy said there were no charges against her client yet in relation to this, but the prosecuting garda replied that he was unable to serve the summons due to the appellant moving address.
“You can serve them today,” remarked Judge Johnson.
The judge said he was satisfied the appellant was not engaging fully with the services as directed and ruled that he would affirm the District Court order.