A DISTRICT Court judge said a Union Hall man who received a ‘lucky break’ for selling drugs was re-offending again within seven months of having received a suspended sentence on drugs charges.
Judge James McNulty was dealing with the case of Luke Reed (21) of Rineen, Union Hall at Clonakilty District Court, where he pleaded guilty to the possession of cannabis and cocaine.
The court heard that on July 22nd 2018 Gda Jason Cotter was on mobile patrol at The Miles in Clonakilty when he met the defendant.
‘He formed the opinion that he was in possession of a controlled substance and during the search of a black gear bag, a weighing scales and a small amount of cannabis herb valued at €5 were found. Following a more detailed search, “deal bags”, as well as €5 worth of cocaine were found in his wallet,’ said Sgt Kelly.
Sgt Paul Kelly said Reed made full admissions when interviewed later by the gardaí.
The court heard that Reed has five previous convictions which include drugs possession and drugs possession for the purpose of sale or supply. He received a two-year suspended sentence at Naas District Court on December 1st 2017 for these offences.
Solicitor Colette McCarthy said her client was originally from North Vietnam and had a lot of trauma in his past. She said his parents have struggled to get him to address these issues. ‘He has struggled and is dealing with addiction issues and is working with Robbie Field,’ said Ms McCarthy, who handed into court a letter written by the defendant’s mother.
Ms McCarthy said that her client’s parents felt that they had lost him for a period and asked the court to consider the preparation of a probation report.
However, Judge James McNulty said it sounded like the defendant now had ‘good and loving parents’ here and he declined the request for a probation report.
‘He has a history of offending and has been convicted for selling drugs before in Naas in 2017. This offence occurred in July 2018 so within seven months of getting a lucky break in Naas, he’s re-offending again.’
Judge McNulty said Reed is ‘well acquainted and not a first time offender or an innocent at large’ and that he has been well reared by his parents. He added that Reed is long past fines, community service orders or suspended sentences.
Judge McNulty convicted and sentenced him to 90 days in prison on the cocaine possession charge.
He also convicted him on the cannabis charge and directed that he enter a probation bond for one year for the purpose of supervision, which will include one random urinalysis. Recognisance for an appeal was set in the defendant’s own bond of €100 with no cash required.
He also set down two specific conditions for Reed while out on bail – namely that he will not use, consume, possess or buy and sell any controlled drug, and that he must attend his local garda station to provide an oral fluid sample on their request at any time.
‘If the results are adverse, we will re-enter the matter, revoke bail and he can await his appeal in prison,’ said Judge McNulty.