A former technical support agent with Apple, with no previous convictions, who was caught with €35,000 of cocaine which he claimed he was storing in order to pay off a gambling debt has been jailed for three years.
Gardaí seized over €35,000 worth of cocaine at Pope’s Quay in Cork on the 21st of December 2018.
Detective Garda Robert Kennedy told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that gardaí had received confidential information in relation to Paul Bourke.
They observed Mr Bourke (37) leaving his apartment in Coppinger's Quay, Cork and spotted him exiting a van with a parcel.
The package contained cocaine with a street value of €32,515. Cannabis valued at €814 was also recovered.
Mr Bourke was arrested and detained at Mayfield Garda Station in Cork. He readily admitted his involvement in the crime and said that he was storing the cocaine to pay off a €1,000 gambling debt.
Sinead Behan, Defence Barrister, said that her client, had carried out this transaction in a bid to pay off his gambling debt.
She said Bourke had come to court with a cert proving a clear urine analysis and had received a "sharp shock" having been in custody pending sentencing since November 2020.
She stated that the DIT graduate, who also studied electrical engineering at UCC, had seen his life go on a downward spiral arising out of his gambling debt.
Judge Sean O'Donnabhain said that Bourke had allowed his life to get out of control. He stated that Bourke was a well-educated man who had knowingly got involved in the supply of drugs.
He told the court that whilst Bourke was short of money and had a gambling addiction, the case was without exceptional circumstances which would allow for a fully suspended sentence.
Taking the guilty plea in to account and the co-operation of Bourke with gardaí, Judge O'Donnabhain jailed Bourke for five years suspending the last two years of the sentence.