Court Of Appeal Hears Sentencing Of Tipperary Drug Dealer Unduly Lenient.

The State has informed the Court of Appeal that a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence, latter imposed on a Tipperary resident caught with over €1 million in cash and drugs, was too lenient.

Mr James Curtis, aged 51 years, with an address at Reiska, Kilcommon, Thurles, Co Tipperary, had been sentenced in October last (2021), at Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court.

The court heard that while serving a suspended sentence, under the cover of darkness, Mr Curtis was discovered near a wood, close to his home, in possession of a potato bag containing 5kg of cocaine.
The court further heard that Gardaí had also discovered €41,000 in cash and a further 4.25kg of cocaine, in a barrel buried in a field; together with a plastic shopping bag containing €336,000.

Mr Curtis had pleaded guilty to possessing €647,000 worth of cocaine for sale or supply, (contrary to Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act). He also pleaded guilty to being in possession of €376,550, knowing or being reckless as to whether the money was the proceeds of criminal conduct. He had been jailed for five and a half years.

Yesterday, at the Court of Appeal, Mr Thomas O’Malley (Senior Council for the State), said the sentencing judge, Mr Justice Cormac Quinn, had erred in principle.
Mr O’Malley claimed that the sentence was too low and unduly lenient, since Mr Curtis was already on a suspended sentence for a similar offence and his sentence therefore should not have been less than 10 years in prison, despite his admitting to the offence.

The matter has now been adjourned until Friday next, when the court should be in position to give a further judgement.


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