Man found with over €1.5 million worth of cocaine and ecstasy a decade ago to be sentenced

Gary Ibbotson 26 May 2023

By Eimear Dodd

A Dublin man will be sentenced later this year after being found guilty of possessing over €1.5 million worth of cocaine and ecstasy over a decade ago.

Last April Stephen Carberry (45) of Sandymount Avenue, Dublin 4, was found guilty following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of five counts of possession of cannabis and ecstasy for sale and supply on May 23, 2013, at The Strand, Donabate. He has 62 previous convictions, primarily for road traffic matters.

An investigating garda told Fiona Crawford BL, prosecuting, yesterday that gardaí had Carberry under surveillance when they observed his silver BMW stop at a property at The Strand, Donabate, on the day in question.

After Carberry left the house, he was seen making a number of stops. Gardai later stopped the car in Glasnevin and arrested Carberry.

During a search of the property, gardaí found 27.9kg of cannabis, with an estimated value of over €559,000 and over 96,000 ecstasy tablets, worth approximately €968,900. A scoop and weighing scales were also found.

Carberry’s DNA was identified on a phone charger found at the property. When interviewed, Carberry gave gardaí an account of his movements on the day in question.

He was charged in 2014 and refused bail. He spent just under a year in custody before being released.

Carberry was subsequently re-charged in relation to this case. He has been in custody since the trial’s conclusion.

The investigating garda agreed with Garret Baker SC, defending, that his client has no previous convictions for drugs and has not been charged with any other drug-related offences in the decade since this offence occurred.

He accepted that the trial was delayed for various reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic and that Carberry attended all relevant court proceedings. He also agreed with defence counsel that Carberry’s previous convictions relate to the District Court.

Mr Baker told the court his client’s brother was murdered in 2019, and Carberry suffered a breakdown around the first anniversary of this loss.

Carberry has a number of health difficulties. He suffers from long Covid and was hospitalised due to the virus.

He is separated and has six children from two relationships. Carberry has been the primary carer for his younger children.

His client left school at 15 and joined the family’s furniture business, Mr Baker said.

He said his client took up the reins of the business in 2004 for two years while his father cared for his mother, who was terminally ill.

He noted that Carberry did not enter a guilty plea, and this form of mitigation is unavailable to his client. A number of testimonials were handed into the court on behalf of Carberry.

His client is also seeking assistance to deal with his difficulties with cocaine, defence counsel said.

Mr Baker asked the court to take into consideration the passage of time since this offence took place.

He suggested this was a “very real and significant storm cloud to have over one’s head for such a period of time to the extent it could only be punitive in nature”.

Mr Baker asked the court for as much leniency as possible for his client. Adjourning the case to July 26 for finalisation, Judge Elma Sheahan ordered urine analysis and a governor’s report.

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