25 Sept 2022

Ballybofey drug-dealer jailed over stash worth €17,000

Gerard Heapes appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court this week

Letterkenny court house.

Letterkenny court house.

A Ballybofey man has been jailed for two years after being found in possession of over €17,000 worth of controlled drugs.

Gerard Heapes (48), with an address at Cappry, Ballybofey, was before Letterkenny Circuit Court on charges dated June 25, 2019.

Heaps was charged with two counts of possession of controlled drugs for the purpose of selling or supplying.

Heapes was found with 849.9 grammes of cannabis, valued at €16,988.

He was also found with 4.03 grammes of cocaine, with a value of €288.17.

Judge John Aylmer said an aggravating factor in the case was that Heapes had ‘a very long list of previous convictions’, including for possession for sale or supply and cultivation.

Judge Aylmer placed the offences at the lower end of the mid-range of such offences and merited a term of five years imprisonment before mitigation.

Heapes, Judge Aylmer said, was fully co-operative and made full admissions.

Heapes, a carer for his long-term partner, had a ‘difficult upbringing’ and became homeless aged 15, the court heard.

“From then on, life was difficult for him and he drifted into drug abuse at an early age,” Judge Aylmer said.

The Judge noted that Heapes had engaged positively with the Probation and Welfare Service.

“He is striving to impress to the court that he is willing to change,” Judge Aylmer said, reducing the sentence to one of four years with the final two suspended.

Heapes was directed to enter into a bond, in the sum of €100, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of two years post-release.

Heapes is to go under the supervision of the Probation Service and is to abstain completely from prescribed drugs.

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