Man feared being 'killed' over Offaly drug debt

Gardai found over €5,800 worth of cannabis in Kinnitty search

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Man feared being 'killed' over Offaly drug debt

Sentencing hearing took place at Tullamore Circuit Court

GARDAI found €5,840 worth of cannabis and cocaine valued at €140 when they searched a house in Kinnitty, Tullamore Circuit Court was told today (Thursday, November 26).

A sentencing hearing for Vincent Waldron, 1 Conway Court, Kinnitty heard the accused told gardai he was selling drugs to pay off a debt and he owed enough money “to be killed for”.

Detective Garda Tadhg O'Brien, Birr garda station, told Judge Keenan Johnson he searched the residence of the 29-year-old man on July 25, 2018 and when gardai arrived at 8.30 that morning, they knocked and saw a male looking out a window.

The door wasn't opened for the gardai so they forced it and in the kitchen they saw suspected cannabis on a worktop.

Mr Waldron told them there were other drugs in a blue bin at the side of the house and in a large black bag 10 individual bags of cannabis were found.

As the search continued more cannabis was found, along with a weighing scales, mobile phone, two grams of cocaine and €440 in cash.

Det Garda O'Brien said the man made full admissions in relation to the cannabis when he was detained and said he was selling the weed to make up money he owed.

Mr Waldron told the garda detective he was not selling the drugs in Kinnitty but in other places, including Portarlington, and some was for his personal use.

He also revealed that he had initially owed €3,000 and that had gone up to €6,000.

Mr Waldron said what had happened him was his own fault and he had nobody to blame but himself.

The court was told 320g of cannabis was seized and the cash found was not the proceeds of drugs sales.

Det Garda O'Brien said Mr Waldron had nine previous convictions, including six for drug possession and one for the sale or supply of drugs.

The latter offence was dealt with in the District Court in 2013 and he had seen sentenced to 240 hours of community service in lieu of 10 months in prison.

Maria Brosnan, BL, defending, said the accused was a father of two who had a difficulty with drugs himself but had not come to garda attention since 2013.

Ms Brosnan said Mr Waldron was now drug-free and was working as a welder from 7.30am to 4pm each day.

He was prepared to give urine samples and to that end had tried to make appointments with his GP.

Judge Johnson said he would adjourn further consideration of the sentence to March 9 next, ordering Mr Waldron, who is on bail, to enter a €500 peace bond, remain drug-free and under the supervision of the probation service, submit urine for analysis, and consider gathering monies for donation to an Offaly-based addiction charity.

Judge Johnson also ordered that the €440 cash which was seized by donated to the Sub garda diversion project in Birr.