Woman must serve 16-month term for trying to smuggle heroin into jail

Mother of three Kerrie Fitzpatrick previously caught trying to bring drugs into other prison, court told

A mother of three who was jailed for 16 months for attempting to smuggle heroin into Mountjoy Prison in Dublin has lost an appeal against the severity of her sentence.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

A mother of three who was jailed for 16 months for attempting to smuggle heroin into Mountjoy Prison in Dublin has lost an appeal against the severity of her sentence. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

A mother of three who was jailed for 16 months for attempting to smuggle heroin into Mountjoy Prison in Dublin has lost an appeal against the severity of her sentence.

Kerrie Fitzpatrick (41), of Loughnamona Park, Leixlip, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conveying a controlled drug into the jail on January 14th, 2017.

The trial judge was told that she had a previous conviction for a similar offence at Portlaoise Prison.

The court heard that Fitzpatrick brought 63g of heroin valued at €9,575 for her former partner who was in the prison.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham said there was evidence that Fitzpatrick was coerced and that her relationship with her former partner was violent and abusive.

However, he said the offence was serious and that Fitzpatrick was dealt with leniently when she committed a similar offence previously, having been given the benefit of the Probation Act.

The judge said the quantity of heroin was a “very significant” and appeared to be for general supply inside the prison rather than one person.

Given the gravity of the offence, Mr Justice Birmingham dismissed the appeal and said a custodial sentence was necessary. He said the trial judge could have imposed a harsher sentence on Fitzpatrick.