Ex-policeman jailed for drug offences after being caught on phone while driving

Defendant previously given suspended sentence for possessing drugs for sale or supply, court hears

Veereen Padiachy (41), a former a policeman in Mauritius, pleaded guilty to a series of offences including possession of drugs for sale or supply. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Veereen Padiachy (41), a former a policeman in Mauritius, pleaded guilty to a series of offences including possession of drugs for sale or supply. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Using a mobile phone, while driving, proved a costly error for a former policeman when it led to discovery of almost €20,000 worth of drugs and a two year jail term.

Veereen Padiachy (41), a former a policeman in Mauritius, pleaded guilty to a series of offences including possession of drugs for sale or supply arising out of the incident in Cork on May 4th 2018.

Garda Jamie O’Riordan told Cork Circuit Criminal Court how he was driving along Coburg Street in Cork when he noticed a motorist on a mobile phone as he passed him driving on to Mac Curtain Street.

When he stopped the driver, Padiachy, he noticed that he was extremely nervous and sweating profusely so he searched Padiachy’s car and found €4,000 worth of cannabis hidden in the vehicle.

He arrested Padiachy and brought him to Mayfield Garda Station for questioning and in a follow up search of a house in the Orchards in Blackpool, gardaí found another €13,000 worth of cannabis.

Gardaí also found a small quantity of MDMA or ecstasy as well as €14,750 in cash and Padiachy accepted full responsibility for the drugs and the money and co-operated fully with gardaí, he said.

Garda O’Riordan said that Padiachy had a previous conviction for possessing drugs for sale or supply from Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2015 for which he was given a two year suspended sentence.

Seeking asylum

He had been living in Ireland for eleven years and had come here seeking asylum after he quit his job as a policeman in Mauritius, telling gardaí he feared for his life and was forced to flee the country.

Garda O’Riordan accepted a suggestion from defence barrister, Peter O’Flynn BL his client had got “entrapped” in drug dealing after a friend was caught in Dublin and he sought to help him out.

He also accepted that Padiachy was simply involved in the transportation of drugs and was not a major player in the drugs gang he was dealing with and was under duress when he got involved.

Mr O’Flynn said that Padiachy had been working as a policeman in Mauritius but “he got involved in politics there and he felt that his life was in danger as a consequence and he had to leave”.

He had moved to Cork after his conviction for drug dealing in Dublin in a bid to get away from those who owned the drugs but they traced him and “caught up with him pretty fast” in Cork, he said.

Mr O’Flynn said that a Probation Report indicated that Padiachy had an insight into the damage that drugs and drug dealing cause and he and his partner were currently expecting their first child.

Mr O’Flynn said that his client was still waiting a decision on his asylum application but Garda O’Riordan said from his inquiries, Padiachy had failed in his application and was facing deportation.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain said he fully accepted Padiachy was being used by “much more malicious and malignant drug dealers” when he was caught moving their drugs and holding their cash.

However he had been given a suspended sentence in Dublin in 2015 and had failed to take his chance and that had to be viewed as an aggravating factor in the case which counted against him.

He sentenced Padiachy with an address at Adare Mews, Douglas, Cork to five years with the last three years suspended with the sentence to be reduced if his deportation was approved while in jail. Judge O’Donnabhain praised Garda O’Riordan, saying that his police work had been exemplary – from stopping Padiachy for driving on a mobile phone to his detective work in uncovering the drugs.