The wife of a drug-dealing French teacher from Ballina left him just hours after gardaí raided his rented home and found close to €10,000 worth of cannabis resin.
Last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court heard that the wife of Gary Beattie of 22 Bunree Road, Ballina, left him and their marriage collapsed after she became aware he was involved in drugs. The court heard that on April 2, 2010 gardaí raided their home in Foxford after a tip off and found 601 grammes of cannabis resin.
Mr Beattie received a three-year prison sentence, which was suspended for three years.
Detective Garda Sinéad Caheny explained that when they arrived at the home, Mr Beattie and his wife were present. Cannabis resin was found in his car, house and garage, along with cling film, a grinder and plastic gloves, which were used to divide the drugs for dealing.
Mr Beattie (33), a qualified French teacher was married with two small children at the time the offence was committed. He had lived in New Zealand but returned to Ireland following a bereavement in his family, but he had found it difficult to gain employment.
When he was interviewed by gardaí he said he bought the drugs on credit and owed €4,000 following the seizure of the drugs. He said he only sold the drugs to get free cannabis for himself. The value of the drugs seized was €9,647.
Det Garda Caheny said that when he was asked to name the source of the drugs he would not, replying: ‘I have a young family’. She said he had been 100 per cent co-operative with the gardaí and commented that she did not think his wife knew what he was up to. The court heard that when Mr Beattie had no previous convictions and this was his first time in court.
Ms Anne Marie Courell, BL for Mr Beattie, said he was now clean from drugs and had urinalysis results to prove it. She added he had enrolled in a course in GMIT to try and enhance his employment prospects and was aware of the shame and stigma that his actions had brought on his family.
Judge Hunt recognised that Mr Beattie had pleaded guilty, was fully co-operative with the gardaí and that his wife had left him, leaving him with limited access to his children. He said society would be better served if he put this behind him and got on with his life.