Drug user who hid heroin in his ‘back passage’ is jailed

David O’Brien (44) seen acting suspiciously in garden of Dublin hostel when gardaí raided

A long-term drug user who had hidden a packet of heroin in his rectum when gardaí­ arrived at his hostel to search it has been jailed for 16 months.

David O’Brien (44) was acting suspiciously in the back garden of the hostel when officers raided the premises in June 2017.

O’Brien was asked to come into the building while the rooms were being searched and officers then decided to search him too.

Garda Emmett Brannigan told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that during the search of O'Brien gardaí ­ found "a string coming out of his back passage". He was asked to remove the string, but instead O'Brien secreted the string further up his body.


O’Brien was arrested and later passed the package of heroin. The drugs had a street value of €2,000, Garda Branningan said.

The garda said O’Brien had 35 previous convictions for robbery, drug and public order offences. He was described as “a lifelong drug user”.

O’Brien, of no fixded abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having possession of the drugs for sale or supply on June 21, 2017.

Garda Brannigan agreed with Conor McKenna BL, defending that O’Brien had co-operated with the investigation and made admissions.

He accepted that since his recent time in custody O’Brien has been making significant progress on a methadone maintenance programme.

Mr McKenna told Judge Melanie Greally that his client's "long and chronic history of drug addiction" began when he was very young and he witnessed drug abuse from the age of four.

Judge Greally said when drugs are brought into hostels in this way “it is very damaging for other residents”.

She said a headline sentence of 24 months was appropriate.

Judge Greally imposed a sentence of 16 months having taken into account O’Brien’s admissions and difficult background.