Man who loses bag with €40,000 of cocaine rings gardaí to report it missing

‘An unusual crime’: Judge sentences the 20-year-old to four years, suspended in its entirety with conditions

A young Dublin drugs courier who lost a bag containing €40,000 of cocaine phoned a Garda station to report it missing, Cork Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Darren Barnwell (20) of Blackhall Parade in Dublin 7 made the journey to Cork city by train with the drugs two years ago.

The incident occurred on August 16th, 2018 when Mr Barnwell got in to a state of panic after he got off the train and realised he no longer had the cocaine.

He got in to a dispute with security staff who refused to allow him back on to look for his lost property.


Mr Barnwell pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for supply to others on August 16th, 2018.

Det Sgt Kieran O’Sullivan told the court that Mr Barnwell got incensed with security staff at Kent Station about 2pm on the date in question in relation to the lost bag.

A person, believed to be Mr Barnwell , rang an Garda to report a lost bag.

Mr Barnwell then remembered he had gone to a shop on nearby MacCurtain Street.

He returned to the shop and was reunited with his bag, which had been found by staff. They had not looked at the contents.

Sgt O’Sullivan said that gardaí stopped a panicked Mr Barnwell outside of the shop.

When they opened the paper bag they discovered a large quantity of cocaine in it. When analysed it had a value of €40,000.

Mr Barnwell admitted he had made the journey on the train from Dublin bringing the cocaine with him.

He is without any previous criminal convictions. On the date of the offence, he was working as a courier who was to deliver the cocaine to another individual.

Sgt O’Sullivan said in the intervening period since the incident Mr Barnwell had not come to the attention of gardaí.

In sentencing Judge Sean O’Donnabhain said it was “an unusual crime.”

“I am justified in imposing a fully suspended sentence. It is exceptional that he has no previous convictions or come to Garda attention since.”

He imposed a sentence of four years, which he suspended in its entirety on condition that Mr Barnwell keeps the peace and is of good behaviour for a period of four years.