Former garda jailed for cocaine possession and perverting the course of justice

A former garda has been jailed for three years for a string of offences including dealing cocaine, attempting to frame someone for car theft and insurance fraud.

Stephen Cooper (aged 29) of The Green, Kingswood Heights in Tallaght was a member of the force when the offences took place in 2010 and 2011.

He was dismissed following a surveillance operation in January 2011.

Mr Cooper was stationed at Sundrive Garda Station when he committed these crimes.

Sometime between August 2010 and October 2011, he tried to get a woman to make a false statement implicating a man in the theft of a car.

He also allowed a friend take the blame when gardaí found the drug LSD during a search at the Electric Picnic music festival in September 2010.

He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and to deception by making a false insurance claim.

He further pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Ormond Quay on January 31, 2011.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring noted Cooper was a drug addict but that he held a privileged position in society.

She went on to say this does a serious disservice to his colleagues who seek to conduct themselves within the letter of the law and she described his actions as a fundamental breach of the role of the force.

The judge took into account that he is now drug-free, recently married, that he lost his job and that as a former Garda, prison will be more difficult for him, before sentencing him to three years behind bars.

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