Man who suffered brain damage after cocaine and brandy binge at brother’s wedding escapes jail

December 7, 2017

A young man who took a concoction of cocaine and brandy at his brother’s wedding and suffered five heart attacks has escaped going to jail for drug-dealing.

Gerard O’Brien was caught with more than €4,300 of cannabis resin in a mobile home at the side of his parent’s home.

O’Brien, now 28, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with the sale and supply of drugs on November 11th, 2013.

Garda drugs officer Grainne McLoone said Gardai entered the mobile home and found cannabis deals stuffed into an energy drinks bottle.

Also found in the mobile home was €270 in cash, a tick list and an empty bicuit tin box with plastic bags and weighing scales.

The total value of the cannabis herb was €4,370.

O’Brien, of Blue Cedars, Balybofey, made full admissions in the case after three interviews and said he was merely trying to save some money for Christmas.

O’Brien said he had paid €1,450 for the drugs but refused to say from where he bought it.

He said he was also using the sale of the drugs to pay back a drug debt he had built up.

Barrister for the accused, Ms Fiona Crawford, said her client had suffered from life altering serious medical issues as a result of his drug abuse.

However, he was now in a steady relationship for two years and has not come to the attention of the Gardai since 2013.

The court was told that he had moved to England to work but came home for his brother’s wedding in 2015.

He went on a binge of cocaine and brandy on the day and suffered a seizure and five heart attacks.

He was rushed to hospital and read the last rites and his family were told to prepare for the worst.

However, after extensive hospitalisation and rehab at the National Rehabilitation in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin, he managed to rebuild his life.

Ms Crawford added that her client still has a permanant brain injury and it is not known if he will ever be able to work again.

Judge John Aylmer said while the case may be at the lower end of the scale for the sale and supply of drugs, it was nonetheless a serious one which merited up to 18 months in prison.

He added however, that O’Brien had co-operated fully and that he also must take into account a very positive probation report and also that he has suffered fairly devastating consequences for taking brandy and cocaine at his brother’s wedding.

He jailed O’Brien for 12 months but suspended the sentence for two years.