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Man who fled country 10 years ago after being caught with drugs avoids jail term

By Isabel Hayes

A man who fled the country nearly 10 years ago after pleading guilty to possessing €40,000 worth of drugs has been given a suspended sentence and told to leave the country again within 72 hours.

A European arrest warrant was issued for Jakub Gorski (37) after he left the jurisdiction in 2012, just before he was due to face a sentence hearing.

He was arrested in Denmark in August this year.

Gorski, then aged 27 with an address in Kilmainham Square, Dublin, was caught with about €40,000 worth of cannabis and cannabis herb when his apartment was raided by gardaí on January 25, 2011. About €14,500 in cash was also seized.

He pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis for sale or supply and was due to be sentenced in April 2012 when it emerged he had left the country, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

Gorski moved to Denmark where he built a new life, Garda Patrick McAvinue told Elma Duffy BL, prosecuting.

He met his wife, had two young children and is now a “family man”, defence barrister, Keith Spencer BL, said.

He had no previous convictions prior to the drugs offence and has not amassed any convictions in any jurisdiction since.

He has been “looking over his shoulder” since 2012 and wishes to have a clean slate going forward, Mr Spencer told the court.

Gorski, who is originally from Poland, moved to Ireland in 2005 and worked in a brewery making craft beers.

He hopes to return to his wife and children in Denmark upon his release from custody, the court heard.

Sentencing him today, Judge Melanie Greally said it was a difficult case. She said she believed Gorski had reformed since his arrest 10 years ago but that he “can’t be seen to be benefitting from absconsion”.

She noted that after fleeing the jurisdiction, Gorski “constructed a new life for himself in Denmark which was very far removed from the life he was leading”.

She said he got married, had children, bought a house, was paying a mortgage and holding down a good job.

It was “a very good life” and Gorski had “a huge amount to lose if he gets a prison sentence”, the judge said.

“His reformation is such that to impose a custodial sentence in this case would be to unravel a life to an extent that would be perhaps disproportionate in the circumstances,” Judge Greally said.

She handed down a three year sentence and suspended it on a number of conditions, including that Gorski leave the country in 72 hours and not return to Ireland for a period of 15 years.

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