Daniel O’Donnell superfan’s cocaine ‘factory’ sentence halved

Molly Sloyan (26) has jail time cut after court finds she was not the ‘mastermind’ of the operation

Molly Sloyan (26), from Kinsale, Co Cork, 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.  Photograph: Provision

Molly Sloyan (26), from Kinsale, Co Cork, 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. Photograph: Provision

 

The prison sentence imposed on a woman for her role in a cocaine “factory” was simply too high, according to the Court of Appeal.

Molly Sloyan (26), from Kinsale, Co Cork, 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.

A Daniel O’Donnell superfan, she previously made headlines when her disapproving reaction to a Daniel O’Donnell impersonator on The Late Late Show went viral.

Sentencing her to 10 years imprisonment with the final three suspended, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the group were involved in a sophisticated system of extracting cocaine from fabric material imported from Brazil. It was in effect, a “factory”, he said.

Sloyan had admitted renting a house on AirBnB, hiring a car and purchasing the chemicals used in the extraction of the cocaine from the fabrics. Judge Ó Donnabháin said she gave significant help to the group and “to say she was the girlfriend [of one of the co-accused] does not do justice to the criminality involved”.

She successfully appealed against the severity of her sentence in July, with the Court of Appeal holding that the 10-year headline tariff was “simply too high”.

Giving reasons for the court’s decision on Tuesday, Mr Justice John Edwards said there was “no doubt” that the offence was serious, in view of the harm caused to society by drug trafficking.

He said Sloyan was not the “mastermind” of the operation nor was she at the top of the hierarchy, and she was not involved in cocaine extraction.

She was, however, fully aware of what was being undertaken and provided “logistical support” to those involved.

Mr Justice Edwards said the sentencing judge was right to highlight the degree of pre-planning involved in the operation. However, the scale of the operation was “modest”, he said, compared to other cases to have come before the courts involving millions of euros worth of drugs.

Given the scale of the operation, Mr Justice Edwards said the 10-year headline sentence was “excessive” and should have been seven years. This was reduced by two years to reflect the mitigating factors.

Sloyan had no relevant previous convictions, had pleaded guilty early, had cooperated with the gardaí­ and a detailed psychological report set out the adversities in her life.

In addition, the Court of Appeal was “impressed” by evidence of Sloyan’s progress towards rehabilitation and suspended the final 18 months.

Mr Justice Edwards, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said Sloyan would have to fully co-operate with the probation services for two years.