By Sonya McLean
A former Leeds United and Republic of Eire youth workforce footballer has been jailed for 2 and half years after he was caught transporting virtually €200,000 value of hashish.
Robert Bayly (30) was described by his barrister as “a baby prodigy” who fell into playing when he moved to Leeds United as a 14-year-old boy. His playing continued into maturity and he finally agreed to move the medicine to repay a €6,500 debt, Dominic McGinn SC informed Dublin Circuit Felony Court docket.
Bayly (pictured beneath arriving at court docket right now), of Cedarbrook Method, Ballyfermot, Dublin pleaded responsible to possession of the medicine on the market or provide at Cherry Orchard Drive, additionally Ballyfermot, on Could 12, 2017.
Bayly, who additionally performed skilled soccer in Eire for Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United, has no earlier convictions, the court docket heard right now.
Garda Neil McGrath informed Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that gardaí stopped the Nissan Almera Bayly was driving and observed a “very robust scent of hashish”.
Bayly admitted there was “weed within the boot” earlier than gardaí found 10 small packages of hashish. The medicine had an estimated road worth of €194,284.
Bayly mentioned in garda interview that he agreed to move the medicine so playing debt of €6,500 can be lowered. He mentioned he was in concern for his life and that of his daughter and girlfriend.
Gda McGrath informed Mr McGinn that officers accepted that Bayly gave “a truthful account” of his function within the operation. He agreed that Bayly was extraordinarily mannerly, co-operative and “the smallest cog within the wheel”.
“I acquired the impression that he did not absolutely perceive what was occurring,” Gda McGrath mentioned.
He accepted that Bayly informed gardaí in interview that he was glad he was caught as a result of it meant that “an enormous quantity of medicine would not make it onto the road”.
Mr McGinn informed Decide Martin Nolan that Bayly had a “enormous quantity of contact” with the older gamers within the three years he spent in Leeds, which was the place he was launched to playing. He mentioned his consumer performed for Shamrock Rovers and varied different golf equipment right here the place his habit acquired uncontrolled.
“He was incomes respectable cash as a footballer,” Mr McGinn mentioned, however mentioned he had no belongings. He mentioned Bayly accomplished all however one week of a 12-week rehabilitative programme however left as a result of he was supplied a contract with Drogheda United.
Counsel mentioned Bayly relapsed following the loss of life of his grandmother and started to construct up debt. He mentioned he was underneath risk and at one level confirmed up for a match having been badly assaulted the night time earlier than.
Mr McGinn mentioned Bayly then grew to become involved for his daughter’s welfare and “felt he had no choice” however to agree to move the medicine. Mr McGinn submitted to the court docket that his consumer fell right into a “completely totally different class” to different folks charged with the identical offence.
He mentioned Bayly had been “born with a present” and outlined a few of Bayly’s sporting achievements which together with taking part in towards Juventus as a Shamrock Rovers participant.
Counsel handed in a lot of testimonials and mentioned Bayly was instrumental in serving to soccer membership Bluebell United arrange a schoolboy coaching academy. He mentioned he comes from a supportive household, is in a secure relationship and has a five-year-old daughter.
Mr McGinn mentioned it could be “a tragic waste of my consumer’s skills” if he had been despatched to jail.
Decide Nolan accepted that threats had been made towards Bayly and that he felt pressured to co-operate however he added that he was an grownup when he dedicated the offence.
“He made a gross misjudgement. He shouldn’t have succumbed to these pressures,” Decide Nolan mentioned earlier than he jailed Bayly for 2 and half years.
He mentioned he had observed that many individuals who had been caught with medicine in an identical method to Bayly had no earlier convictions earlier than he added that he believed this was the explanation they had been “picked” by others to move medicine.