Retired garda superintendent charged over cannabis seizure faces possibility of extra charges
9th October 2021
A retired garda superintendent charged over a cannabis seizure at his home in Dublin faces a possibility of extra charges and is looking for free legal aid because of his financial circumstances.
Officers from the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) recovered cannabis herb during search operations on September 29.
John Murphy (61), was arrested and detained at Irishtown Garda Station under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.
Gardaí charged him with possessing cannabis worth over €13,000 at his home in a north Dublin suburb.
The offence is contrary to Section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act which can carry a 10-year sentence.
He has not yet indicated how he will plead.
Bail was set on Monday in his bond of €500, but a €20,000 independent surety must be approved.
He had still not taken up bail when the case resumed today at Cloverhill District Court.
He has remained in prison custody, in quarantine due to Covid-19 precautions.
The former senior garda appeared via videolink.
GNBCI Detective Sergeant Brian Hanley told Judge Victor Blake he had not received directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions yet.
He asked for six weeks to obtain them. Mr Murphy, via his solicitor, said there was consent to a four-week remand.
Judge Blake adjourned the case until November 5.
He noted Detective Sergeant Hanley stated that directions were in relation to “possible further charges”.
Asked if he would have them on the next date, Detective Sergeant Hanley said: “I would hope so”.
Defence solicitor Robert Purcell said his client is applying for legal aid “based on the seriousness of the charges and his financial circumstances”.
The solicitor said he provided documents to Detective Sergeant Hanley so he could outline his position.
Signed documents will be handed into court on the next date, Mr Purcell said.
Judge Blake told the GNBCI officer objections must be sent in writing to Mr Purcell within 10 days.
Copies of the application must be provided to the court ahead of the next hearing, he ordered.
Mr Murphy, wearing a grey jumper and a facemask, spoke briefly during the hearing.
He gave his name, greeted the judge at the start and said “yes,” indicating consent to a four-week remand.
He also thanked the judge at the end.
The former garda superintendent was further remanded in custody with consent to bail.
At his first hearing on Monday, Detective Sergeant Hanley said several conditions had been agreed with the defence.
For his security, Detective Sergeant Hanley did not read out Mr Murphy’s address.
He must not contact four people who cannot be named for the same reason. Gardaí seized Mr Murphy’s passport.
If he takes up bail, he must reside at an address provided, sign on daily at a garda station, and not apply for a duplicate passport.
He has to provide gardaí with a contact phone number within 24 hours of release.
He “made no reply after caution” when charged.