Former Shamrock Rovers and Leeds United youth player Robert Bayly has been jailed for 2 1/2 years after being caught transporting around €200,000 worth of cannabis. The 30-year-old, who lives in Ballyfermot had no previous convictions, and pleaded guilty to the charge on May 12th of last year.
Bayly was stopped in a Nissan Almera by Garda Neil McGrath who told the court there was a very strong smell of cannabis. Bayly admitted that there was "weed in the boot" which resulted in gardaí searching Bayly's car, finding packages of cannabis valued at €194,284.
Bayly who has problems with gambling stemming from his time at Leeds as a 14-year-old, committed the offence in order to pay off part of a €6,500 debt Dominic McGinn SC told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The court heard that Bayly told gardaí when interviewed that he was glad he was arrested because it meant that “a huge amount of drugs wouldn’t make it onto the street”.
Garda McGrath told Mr McGinn that officers accepted that Bayly had given “a truthful account” of his role in the operation commenting that he got the impression Bayly "didn't fully understand what was happening".
Judge Martin Nolan said that the Bayly had made "a gross misjudgement" and that the former Ireland u19 "should not have succumbed to those pressures", before handing down the sentence.
Bayly has played for numerous LOI clubs over his career including Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, Drogheda United and most recently Shelbourne in 2017.
H/T: The Irish Times