A 50-year-old Irish grandmother has pleaded guilty on two counts of possession of cocaine with the intent to supply. She was caught by the police outside a bingo hall in Deanrock Business and Technology Park, in Togher, Cork.
She was arrested at Ireland’s most successful bingo operations, Rock Bingo, on July 9, 2014.
Helen Heaphy pleaded guilty to the charges on Wednesday at Cork District Court. Judge Leo Malone accepted her plea for clemency, including her family obligations and the relatively small value of the drugs found in her possession (€350 / $400).
The grandmother insisted that she was holding the cocaine for a friend, at first.
Her lawyer, Frank Buttimer, said the drugs were never going to be brought in to the bingo hall.
He said, “It happened outside the bingo hall. At the request of someone, she carried it to give to (them). It was a stupid act which placed her at risk of imprisonment.
Buttimer continued, “She is 50 years old now. She is separated. She is both a mother and grandmother with family responsibilities.”
Judge Leo Malone issued a fine of $870 (€750), but the grandmother received no prison sentence, despite two prior convictions for drugs possession and obstructing a police narcotics unit.
The owner of the bingo hall has also agreed to allow her to continue to attend.