Hard to Understand, Judge Martin Nolan’s inconsistent Pattern of Sentencing? No Previous, 5 Years?

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Covid worker holding nearly €600k of ketamine for crime gang is sentenced to five years

Gary Cosgrave
Gary Cosgrave

12th November 2022

A Dublin man caught in possession of over half a million euro of ketamine after gardai staged a “controlled delivery” of the drugs to his home has been jailed for five years.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Gary Cosgrave (28) became involved in the offence after he had run up a €300 cannabis debt he was unable to pay and was afraid for himself and his family.

Cosgrave of Crumlin Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12 pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at his home on November 10, 2020. He has no previous convictions.

Garda Donal Donoghue told Gareth McCormack BL, prosecuting, that in a joint operation between customs and excise and the gardai, a controlled delivery of a package containing ketamine sent from the Netherlands under the cover of Lego parts was carried out.

Ketamine, a tranquillizer, valued at €594,000 was seized and weighed just under ten kilograms.

Gda Donoghue said Cosgrave was not home at the time but contact was made with him and he arrived home as gardai were searching his home. He was arrested and initially said he knew nothing about the package or drugs.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said Cosgrave came from a prosocial supportive family but had struggled with difficult family circumstances a number of years ago and “took a wrong turn.”

Mr Bowman said Cosgrave had struggled to pay a modest drug debt of €300 and his services were used to receive this package. He had no propriety interest in the drugs and feared his family would be targeted if he didn’t do what he was told.

Counsel handed testimonials into court outlining Cosgrave’s contribution to family and community.

Mr Bowman said Cosgrave was not a man who was criminally inclined but “a good man who did a bad thing” and asked the court to “snatch away” as few years as possible from him.

Counsel asked that the sentence be reflective of the accused as opposed to the “act of wanton stupidity” two years ago. He asked that he be returned to his family and community as soon as possible.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Martin Nolan said there was “almost perfect mitigation” in the case but the crime was serious, with the value and amount of drugs towards the middle or upper end of those the court deals with. He noted Cosgrave was unlikely to reoffend.

Judge Nolan said Cosgrave had an issue with drugs and had come into contact with unsavoury people who exercised some degree of power over him but said he was a mature man who should have known better.

The judge said Cosgrave’s own conduct in drug taking had led him into this offence. Judge Nolan imposed a five year sentence, saying he could go no lower due to the amount of drugs.

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