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12 Aug 2022

REVEALED: Text messages on Offaly drug dealer's phone

REVEALED: Text messages on Offaly drug dealer's phone

Three-year suspended sentence was imposed on man at Tullamore Circuit Court

THE content of text messages found on an Offaly drug dealer's mobile phones were revealed when he was sentenced at Tullamore Circuit Court.

The phones were found at the residence of Daniel Colsh, 36, of Apartment 1, The Lantern, Kilbride Street, Tullamore, where he admitted having nearly €300 worth of cannabis for sale or supply, an offence which resulted in him receive a three-year suspended sentence.

Gardai found the drugs, an Alcatel phone and a Samsung phone, and €473 in cash, when they searched the apartment on October 8, 2019.

Led in his evidence by prosecution counsel Kevin White, BL, Detective Garda Rory Heffernan said his colleague Detective Garda Patrick O'Connell extracted messages from the phones, including a text which said “Got new smoke in, tox”.

There was another to Mr Colsh which said “Do me one of that new stuff, heard it's savage”, to which the accused replied “10 minutes”.

Another message requested “an 8 on tick” while another asked: “Are you around, can I call to the usual spot?”

A further text read: “Haven't had a smoke in 2 days and definitely need something, ha”.

There were also messages which said “Sound man, I'll get a green off ya til Friday” and “Hey Dan would you have any g on you?”

In an interview with the gardai, Mr Colsh said the cannabis was for his own use but there were two bags which he was going to get rid of for €80.

Detective Garda Heffernan said the gardai were told the accused said the €473 cash was from savings and was not obtained from selling cannabis.

Mr Colsh accepted the text messages were in relation to his sale of the drug.

The court also heard the accused had 33 previous convictions, nearly half of which were for public order offences.

There was a conviction and 10-month detention order from 2003 for the sale of drugs and a one-year sentence for assault imposed the same year.

The garda witness agreed with defence counsel Mark Thompson, BL, that the accused had not come to the attention of the gardai since the incident and he was now living full-time with two daughters and was very good to them.

Mr Thompson also said Mr Colsh had medical difficulties resulting from an assault on him for which the perpetrator was sentenced.

Judge Keenan Johnson said that despite the small amount of cannabis involved, the DPP was right to seek an indictment in the case and have it brought before the Circuit Court.

There was clear evidence of drug dealing and Mr Colsh was peddling misery: “Cannabis is anything but a soft drug. It is an extremely dangerous drug.”

He said between 5% and 7% of those who use cannabis go on to develop schizophrenia and that was a further cost to society.

A number of testimonials on behalf of the accused were before the court and Judge Johnson said they indicated he was a very good father and his two girls were doing very well, as was shown by Christmas reports from school.

He also said the early plea of guilty was a significant mitigating factor and he ranked Mr Colsh's offending at the lower end of the scale.

It would attract a headline sentence of five years but he mitigated it to three years, which he suspended for 10 years on condition the accused keep the peace, submit himself to the supervision of the probation service and remain drug-free.

He also ordered that the cash found by the gardai be given to the Garda Fusion Project in Tullamore.

The Fusion Project is a youth diversion project which works in the community to divert young people from criminal and anti-social behaviour.

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