A couple who ran a drug-dealing business from their Letterkenny home have been given a second chance by a Judge.
Alison Denton and Kevin O’Neill were caught with a range of drugs including heroin and cannabis at their home at Meadowbank Park, Letterkenny.
Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how the pair had both previously been drug addicts who left Dublin to get clean.
But they claimed that they were tempted back onto drugs when a man called to their home asking them to sell drugs for them in Letterkenny.
Detective Garda Joe Keely told the court that Gardai received information about the couple’s drug-dealing business and raided their home.
They found heroin buried in a container n their back garden as well as various amounts of cannabis resin hidden in a wheelie bin and in a spice jar.
Ms Denton was found to have a ‘tick list’ of all the people whom they were supplying and selling drugs to.
The couple claimed that they were trying to get clean but that a stranger had called to their home who knew of their past connection with drugs and said he wanted to know if the drugs he had were good enough to sell.
They began dealing together and the man, whose identity was not revealed in court, would give O’Neill €100 worth of heroin for every €500 he would sell.
The court heard how both had come from difficult backgrounds but were dedicated to eachother and were now keeping a roof over their heads and had a daughter.
O’Neill, aged 50, had married at just 16 years old, tried heroin at 17 and become an addict while growing up in Portarlington in Co Laois.
He had 50 previous convictions for a range of offences including burglary, assault, drugs and public order.
Ms Denton, aged 33, was originally from Tallaght and her brother had also died from drug addiction.
The court was told that neither had since come to garda attention since being caught with the drugs haul – €972 worth of heroin and cannabis resin with a value of €16,256.
Judge John O’Hagan said he had a decision to make if he was to jail the couple but said he was going to take a “leap of faith.”
He sentenced them to two and half years each but said he was suspending that sentence in each case.
However, he warned them “I’m going to give you a chance. I’m leaving the decision up to you. – I’m going to give you a suspended sentence but if you do commit a crime then you will serve two and half years then that little daughter of yours will have to go into care.”Tags: