A ‘Daniel O’Donnell superfan' has had her prison sentence for participating in a cocaine ‘factory’ cut in half.
Molly Sloyan (26), with an address in Kinsale, had made headlines in 2016 when her reaction to a Daniel O’Donnell impersonator on The Late Late Show went viral.
This week, the Court of Appeal in Dublin heard that last year Ms Sloyan was one of four people who pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Seascape, Dromleigh, in Bantry, on November 26th, 2017. The value of the high-purity cocaine was estimated to be €70,000.
Sentencing her to 10 years’ jail, with the final three suspended, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin had said the group were involved in a sophisticated system of extracting cocaine from fabric material imported from Brazil. He described it as a ‘cocaine factory’.
Sloyan had admitted renting the Bantry house on Airbnb, hiring a car and purchasing the chemicals needed to extract cocaine from the fabrics.
She successfully appealed her sentence this week, with the Court of Appeal saying her 10-year sentence was too high. She was resentenced to five years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended.
Sloyan’s barrister, Michael O’Higgins SC, said the drugs came in fabric cloth which was reduced through use of a solvent and turned into sludge, then powder. But there was no chemical wizardry involved. It would be wrong to call it ‘cutting edge’, he said.
Mr O’Higgins said there were four people involved in the operation and Sloyan was ‘on the periphery’. He said the tasks carried out by her – the renting of the house, the hiring of the car and the over-the-counter purchase of the chemicals– were usually allocated to the weakest links in the chain and she wasn’t involved in any extraction.
He said Sloyan was the youngest of the group and had an ‘association’ with the main participant.
Mr O’Higgins said Sloyan had no relevant previous convictions, had pleaded guilty early, had co-operated with the gardaí and a detailed psychological report set out the adversities in her life.
He submitted that the case fell into the very small number of cases where a wholly suspended sentence could have been justified.
The court heard evidence from a case manager with the Department of Justice’s outlook programme for the reintegration of offenders into society.
The witness told Mr O’Higgins that the programme only accepts the ‘best of the best’ candidates. Sloyan was deemed to be a suitable candidate following an assessment, according to the witness, and was engaging with its requirements.
Mr Justice Edwards, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said the court was impressed with Ms Sloyan’s effort towards rehabilitation.
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