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Jail term for man caught pouring cocaine down toilet

A 41-year-old man caught pouring cocaine down a toilet when gardaí raided his house has been jailed for three years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Brian Wildman pleaded guilty to possessing €293,313 in cocaine and cannabis for sale and supply at his home at Charnwood Grove, Clonsilla, Co Dublin on 1 August 2020.

He also admitted possessing €19,130 in cash as the proceeds of crime on the same occasion.

Garda Thomas McDaniel told the prosecution that when gardaí arrived at the house with a warrant, they found a large amount of drugs paraphernalia including weighing scales.

Wildman was upstairs trying to put cocaine down the toilet, but he only managed to empty one bag before gardaí arrived.

Cocaine with a street value of €158,047 and vacuum-packed cannabis resin worth €135,266 were seized.

Gardaí also found a co-accused, Keith Banks, standing at the kitchen counter throwing a white powder onto the floor.

The 45-year-old, of Castleknock Glade, Laurel Lodge, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to the same offences as Wildman and was jailed for five years in June 2022.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a lesser sentence on Wildman than that handed to Banks, after hearing extensive evidence of Wildman’s medical difficulties.

The court heard that he was the subject of an unprovoked attack over a decade ago which resulted in a brain injury, requiring a metal plate to be inserted into his head.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Wildman began to suffer unexplained chronic seizures and was eventually diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis or inflammation of the brain.

Defence counsel Michael Bowman explained that Wildman requires regular hospitalisation for chemotherapy to manage the brain swelling and is also on immunosuppressants.

Medical reports were presented to the court describing his health as in a “fragile state” with his GP saying he is not medically fit to attend an Irish prison.

The court heard that although Wildman’s seizures have reduced in frequency, they remain violent and unpredictable and a prison environment would be unsuitable for him.

Judge Nolan said the court could not impose a non-custodial sentence because of the seriousness of the crime and the level of Wildman’s involvement.

The judge said it is the duty of the prison to protect and mind their prisoners and it is up to them to decide whether they can safely keep Wildman and deal with his medical complications.

Judge Nolan ordered that all medical reports be handed over to the Irish Prison Service and urged Wildman to tell someone of the rank of prison governor exactly what was wrong with him.

The judge said that Wildman had been a “vital cog” in the distribution of drugs and had become involved due to his own drug-taking.

He has four previous convictions for minor road traffic offences dating back to 2009.

Garda McDaniel agreed with counsel that Wildman showed no signs or trappings of wealth and was not living a luxurious lifestyle.

The court heard that he told gardaí on arrest that he had accumulated a drug debt of €25,000 and was under duress from others to become involved in the operation.

Mr Bowman said Wildman had a history of work in the construction industry, but developed a significant drug habit, at one stage taking half an ounce of cocaine a week costing €1,100.

The court heard that Wildman has two children with whom he has a good relationship.

He requires ongoing chemotherapy and his physical fitness has deteriorated due to the effects of his condition and the medication he requires, the hearing was told.

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