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29 May 2022

Consecutive prison sentences for man in Edgeworthstown drug trial

Significant sentence: Man jailed for four years following drugs trial

Consecutive prison sentences for man in Edgeworthstown drug trial

A man has been handed a number of prison sentences for possession of drugs and obstruction of Gardaí.

Thomas Leonavicius, a former resident of Corboy Lodge, Edgeworthstown, Longford, was also sentenced to seven years imprisonment with the final three years suspended when he appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson in Longford Circuit Court on January 11.

The court heard that, on March 27, 2021, at 11.15am, Mr Leonavicius attempted to run from Gardaí when told he was being searched under the drug act. As he ran, the court heard he threw away a quantity of suspected cannabis, amphetamines and a phone.

During arrest, the accused resisted and a struggle ensued, resulting in an injury to an arresting Garda. The value of the drugs which were recovered amounted to a total of €250.

Sgt Enda Daly, for the state, told Judge Bernadette Owens that Mr Leonavicius had 14 previous convictions including the four year Circuit Court imprisonment, which he is now serving.

He was fined €300 in May 2017 for charges under Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs act and further drugs charges date back to 2016 when he received three convictions under the same act.

The court also heard that Mr Leonavicius was on Circuit Court bail when the offences before the court last week took place.

Solicitor for the defence, Tony McLynn, noted that the Circuit Court sentence was “significant” and explained to the court that this was the first time his client had ever been in prison.

“There’s a plea now and he’s trying to clear the decks so when he serves his sentence he can start again,” said Mr McLynn.

“He had a job in a meat factory until a few years ago when he injured his arm. He started using cannabis and his marriage broke down. He got indebted and he got sucked into dealing.

“He has been finding prison difficult. He’s from Lithuania and his English is not great. He was hospitalised with high blood pressure once while in prison and he’s on antidepressants but in recent weeks, he seems to have adjusted.

“He got a job in the kitchen of Castlerea Prison and he wants to turn over a new leaf and put this lifestyle behind him when he gets out.

“He has a 12-year-old daughter he won’t see for several years and I’d ask you to give him some light at the end of the tunnel and not add to the sentence he’s already facing.”

Judge Owens noted that Mr Leonavicius received a “significant” sentence in the Circuit Court and that he was on Circuit Court bail at the time of these offences.

“It’s also relevant that the Circuit Court was advised that this matter was pending. The Circuit Court also appears to have had the benefit of a probation report and in light of that, the Circuit Court judge gave a very significant suspension,” she said.

She proceeded to sentence Mr Leonavicius to three months in prison on the drugs charge, and four months imprisonment on the obstruction charge. Both sentences are to be served concurrent to the Circuit Court sentence.

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