'Friend took advantage of' man caught with €600K of drugs in airport car park

By Isabel Hayes

A man with "a particular psychological make-up" who was caught with over €600,000 of heroin and cocaine in a car park at Dublin Airport has been given a suspended five-year sentence.

Judge Martin Nolan told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today that it would be “unjust” to jail Alyn Maginn (41) “given his particular psychological make-up” and the fact that his moral culpability for the crime was low.

Maginn, with an address in Drumhillery Road, Keady, Co Armagh, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing heroin and cocaine at Dublin Airport on July 7, 2017.

Detective Garda Chris Brady told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that Maginn arrived in Dublin on a flight from Malaga, Spain, and was spotted leaving Terminal 2 as part of routine profiling by customs.

Maginn got into a Seat Ibiza and remained there for over two-and-a-half hours before getting out again and walking away, whereupon he was arrested by a customs officer. The car was searched and a loose panel in the passenger side door revealed a wash bag containing two bags of powder.

A further wash bag containing more powder was found in the drinks console beside the gear stick. Gardaí also recovered weighing scales, bags, cellophane and mixing agent in the car.

The drugs were analysed and found to comprise heroin valued at €140 a gramme worth a total of €591,752 and cocaine at €70 a gramme valued at €16,833. The total value of the drugs seized was €608,585.

The court heard Maginn had not imported the drugs, but they had been in the car already. A co-accused, Martin Gilroy (34) of Dernanaught Road, Galbally, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, owned the drugs. He was a friend of Maginn's and had asked him to mind the drugs, the court heard.

Gilroy, a former addict with 10 previous convictions, was jailed for seven years last November.

Maginn has no previous convictions and cooperated with Gardaí when arrested. Gilroy handed himself into gardaí the following day, the court heard.

Ronan Munro SC, defending, said his client lives in Spain with his wife and two young children. A psychological report handed up to court showed Maginn has borderline cognitive ability, is on the autism spectrum disorder and is easily led.

He said Maginn's involvement in the crime was low and his moral culpability was “greatly diminished”. “It's a tragic tale,” he said.

Sentencing Maginn, Judge Nolan said he was a man who was “easy to manipulate”.

“He's got particular psychological problems, he has limited intelligence, he's on the autism spectrum,” the judge said. “He was put upon by his friend who took advantage of him.”

“Because of his particular psychological make-up, it would be unjust to jail him for this particular crime.”

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