[Sinn Fein]

14 July 1998

Heroin Distributor Sentence - Unbelievable

Sinn Fein Councillor Christy Burke has described the six year jail sentence delivered to heroin distributor, John Miles, as ``unbelievable and sending all the wrong messages to communities in Dublin that have been scourged by drugs.''

Councillor Burke said:

``The sentence delivered by the courts to a major heroin distributor makes a mockery of the justice system and `blows out of the water' statements about getting tough on drug dealers The much peddled `zero tolerance' policy on crime in Dublin, two thirds of which can be linked to drugs, will now be seen clearly as more empty and meaningless rhetoric. This custodial sentence is reminiscent to many communities of the derisory sentences issued to drug barons in the mid 1980's.

``Anti-drug activists have long warned that if young people are exposed to drug abuse on a daily basis, to the extent that it becomes a part of everyday life around them, it has to significantly increase the risk of them becoming involved in drug abuse. The government needs to put real resources into responding to the drugs crisis into this city and it is a response that must be judicial as well as economic.''

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