Courier in €800,000 heroin deal took part ‘to pay golf fees’

Michael Smallhorn had the keys for a car containing 5.9kg of the drug in Dublin


A man who was caught up in an €837,000 heroin deal told the Garda he got involved in order to pay his golf fees.

Michael Smallhorn (57) was to be paid €200 to act as a courier, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard, at Limekiln Lane, in Greenhills in Dublin, on February 4th, 2016.

Det Garda Suzanne Lyons of the national drug unit said that, acting on confidential information, gardaí stopped his car in Walkinstown and found 13 street deals of heroin, with an estimated street value of €338. When they searched a Citroën parked around the corner they found 5.9kg of heroin.

Smallhorn, of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, told the Garda a man paid him to leave the keys for the Citroën on the wheel. The man told him to go for a cup of tea and that in the meantime someone would come to take something from the car’s boot. He was told he would be paid €200 but, he said, never got the money.

Breffni Gordon SC, defending, said Smallhorn didn’t realise the magnitude of his involvement in the offence. When he was shown the amount of drugs found in the Citroën, Smallhorn told detectives: “If I’d have known it was that much I’d never have gone near it.”

Smallhorn, who pleaded guilty to aiding another person in the possession for sale or supply of drugs , said he knew the man who asked him to take part from his local pub and was afraid of him.

Mr Gordon said his client’s brother was a heroin addict and had begun calling to their mother, looking for money to buy drugs. Smallhorn began buying heroin for his brother in order to stop this.

Judge Pauline Codd said she had to balance Smallhorn’s minor role with the quantity of heroin involved. She suspended a sentence of five years.