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Drug courier beaten with sledgehammers

A drugs "delivery boy" had his ankles and knees hit with sledgehammers in the Dublin mountains by his bosses after gardai seized almost €3m of drugs.

John Paul Duncan (26) was left in the Dublin Mountains to find his own way to hospital after the attack, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Duncan, of Drumcairn Avenue, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine, cannabis, and ecstasy in Swiftwood Apartments, Saggart, on November 26, 2007.

Judge Martin Nolan said he had to take account of the fact that drugs have serious effects on the communities they are sold into and that Duncan must have known the type of people he was getting involved with.

Judge Nolan noted the mitigating circumstances and imposed an eight-year sentence.

Detective Garda Ronan Doolin told the prosecution that gardai who had mounted a surveillance operation on two Ford Transit vans in the car park of a Saggart apartment block observed Duncan taking a bag out of one of the vans and putting it into his car.

Gardai intercepted Duncan and found the bag to contain cannabis resin. They then searched the two vans.

Inside the first van they found cannabis resin estimated to be worth more than €2m. Inside the second van, which Duncan had been seen driving earlier that year, they found cannabis herb, cannabis resin and 56,000 ecstasy tablets valued at nearly €700,000.

Det Gda Doolin said the total value of all the drugs found was €2,803,294.

During a search of an apartment they found drugs paraphernalia such as a "tick list" and a pressing machine.

Duncan has 14 previous convictions for road traffic and public order offences.

Det Gda Doolin agreed with the defence that the contents of the vans "were never his property" and there were no signs of "excessive lifestyle." He agreed he was the only member of his family to be in trouble with the gardai.

Duncan had a long history of solvent abuse, a high level of cocaine use and latterly smoking of heroin.

Source Irish Independent

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