Dad ‘trying to be a good father’ when he sneaked drugs into jail
December 03 2020 08:05 AM
A MAN caught smuggling drugs into prison was “trying to be a good father” to his jailed son who had his fingers broken over a debt while inside.
George Byrne (53) was found with Xanax and cannabis after officers at Wheatfield noticed he was “nervous” when he arrived to visit his son.
His defence solicitor said Byrne had done “the wrong thing for the right reasons”.
Judge David McHugh jailed Byrne for four months. He was later released on bail pending an appeal.
Garda Isabel Dockery said the incident was reported last December 21 after Byrne was stopped with a suspected drugs package.
Byrne, who had no previous convictions, made full admissions on arrest.
The drugs were worth €878, Blanchardstown District Court heard.
Rory Staines, defending, said Byrne was identified “quite quickly” by prison officers and monitored as he appeared to be nervous. He was going to visit his son with the package.
Byrne’s son had been serving a lengthy sentence for a serious offence, the court heard.
The son had built up a debt and had his fingers broken by another prisoner the week before.
Byrne, who had earlier paid off money for his son, was under pressure and duress to carry the drugs in.
He accepted it was a very serious offence and he was at fault, but he did “the wrong thing for the right reasons”, Mr Staines said.
The accused realised that going to the prison authorities would have been a better way of dealing with the situation.
Byrne, of Kells Road, Crumlin, admitted possession of Xanax and cannabis and conveying drugs into prison.
Judge McHugh accepted the accused was under emotional pressure, but said it was a “very serious matter”.
“I’m satisfied that as a father he was attempting, as he may have seen it, to alleviate his son’s difficulty,” he said.
“But it was fundamentally misguided.”
Judge McHugh said it was not a question of whether he would serve a sentence, but for how long.
He sentenced Byrne to four months in prison, but he was later released on bail.