Pair admit procuring Katy French drugs

Two friends of the late model Katy French have been spared jail as they were handed suspended sentences for arranging a drug deal the weekend the socialite collapsed at their home.

Two friends of the late model Katy French have been spared jail as they were handed suspended sentences for arranging a drug deal the weekend the socialite collapsed at their home.

Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 00:00

Two people have been given suspended sentences at Trim Circuit Court on drugs charges arising from the death of model Katy French in Co Meath five years ago.

Kieron Ducie (43), Lamberstown Manor, Kilmessan, Co Meath and Ann Corcoran (32), Tolka Road., Dublin 3 had admitted that at an unknown location between 6pm on December 1st, 2007 and 10am on December 2nd, 2007 they procured another man Russell Memery to possess cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply to another.

A second charge against the couple was withdrawn in November. That charge alleged that on the same dates at Lamberstown Manor they intentionally or recklessly engaged in conduct, to wit the supply of cocaine to Katy French, and failure to get medical assistance in a timely fashion, which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another.

Ms French died in Our Lady’s Hospital Navan on December 6th, 2007 a number of days after she had collapsed at Ducie’s home early on December 2nd, 2007.

Two years ago, Memery, who had been living at Yellow Clay Manor in Navan, became the first person charged in connection with the death of Ms French. He was given a two and half years suspended sentence at Trim Circuit Court after pleading guilty to having conspired to possess cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply to another.

Supt Michael Devine told Trim Circuit Court an autopsy showed that the model had died from a brain seizure brought about by ingesting cocaine.

Replying to prosecuting counsel Jonathan Kilfeather SC, the superintendent said Ms French had contacted Ducie at 11pm on December 1st saying that she wanted to call out to Ann Corcoran who was in Ducie’s house and asked him to arrange for her to get a supply of cocaine.

Ducie then contacted Russel Memery and following a number of calls which also involved Corcoran and Katy French, Memery arranged to meet Ms French at the a filling station in Clonee to hand over the drugs.

The court heard the model had paid €200 which Memery then passed on to another man. Corcoran then met Ms French at Warrenstown and brought her to Kilmessan.

Ducie told gardaí he had been on a night out in Dublin and returned to the house at 6.30am and the two women were still up. He said he put Ms French to bed in a downstairs room about 8 am and he and Corcoran retired upstairs.

The defendants told gardaí they heard a bang about 8.15-8.30am and when they went downstairs they found Ms French lying on the ground.

In a statement to gardaí, Ducie said he found Katy French lying face down and ‘bouncing up and down’. He said he grabbed her by the waist, her arms and legs were straight out and her eyes were bulging. He said that he and Corcoran put Ms French into his 4x4 and he took her to hospital in Navan.

The superintendent said that phone records showed that Ducie had made a 999 call at 10.05am and arrived at the hospital at 10.12am. He added that forensic examination of phone traffic showed that Ducie had made a number of calls to Memery between 9.59am and 1pm.

The court also heard that a nurse had noticed that Ms French had been unresponsive when she arrived at the hospital. When the medical team there asked Ann Corcoran if Ms French had taken drugs, Corcoran replied that they had been drinking. She said she had not seen Ms French take drugs but added that she had gone to the toilet several times during the night.

A lawyer for Ducie told the court that his client regretted and was remorseful for what had happened on the night.

Barrister Bernard Condon SC said that Ducie had been a facilitator in helping Ms French get drugs on the night.

Patrick Marrinan SC, for Corcoran, said his client had simply been a conduit of information on the night, telling Ms French where to get the drugs from Memery.

Judge Michael O Shea described Katy French’s death as ‘terrible and tragic’ and remarked that it would be inhuman not to express sympathy for the French family who would have to bear the cross of her death for the rest of their lives.

The judge imposed a sentence of two and half years on Ducie, which he suspended on the defendant entering a bond of €200 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two years.

Judge O’Shea imposed a sentence of two years on Corcoran, which he suspended on her entering a bond of €200 to keep the peace for two years.

Both Ducie and Corcoran left the court without comment.

During the hearing the two had sat side by side and following the conclusion of the evidence, Corcoran leaned over and spoke briefly to Ducie who made no reply.

Katy French’s parents John and Janet and her sister Jill were in court for the hearing. Speaking afterwards, the family said that despite the best efforts of the gardaí to get justice for Katy, they were saddened and angry that the second charge of endangerment had been dropped.

Janet French said that there remained many questions that needed to be answered about the actions of Ducie and Corcoran.