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Clonakilty man tells judge that he bought cocaine ‘in bulk’ for himself

May 23rd, 2024 10:00 PM

Clonakilty man tells judge that he bought cocaine ‘in bulk’ for himself Image

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A CLONAKILTY man charged with selling cocaine said the 20 deal bags found on him by gardaí were for his own personal use.

At Clonakilty District Court, John O’Driscoll (23) of 50A Tawnies Crescent, Clonakilty pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine, the possession of cocaine for sale or supply and obstructing a drugs search.

Sgt Tom Mulcahy told Judge James McNulty that at 2.05am on April 30th 2022 Gda Joseph Grimes was on duty at Seymour Street in Clonakilty when he came across two males acting suspiciously.

‘When the defendant saw Gda Grimes he jumped on his bike, attempted to cycle away, but ended up falling off,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

‘Gda Grimes searched him and found 20 deal bags of suspected cocaine in a large bag in his pocket. He cautioned him, but Mr O’Driscoll was very drunk.’

The court heard that he had 20 grams of cocaine in his possession with a potential street value of €1,400.

When interviewed at a later date in the garda station, he admitted the drugs were his, but said they were for his own personal use.

‘He said he attempted to cycle away because he had cocaine on him and he panicked when he saw Gda Grimes.’

Mr O’Driscoll has 11 previous convictions including two for assault, one for drugs and several for public order.

Defence solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said his client, who recently qualified as a butcher, is currently not working. 

He said his dad had died when he was younger and he has since developed a fondness for controlled drugs.

‘He had bought the cocaine in bulk and had it for his own personal use. He was extremely drunk that night. He panicked, cycled away but fell off his bike,’ said Mr Taaffe.

‘When interviewed he denied selling cocaine. There is no evidence of this. His mum and sister are in court and he assures them he has given up the drug.’

However, when Judge McNulty asked if he could provide an oral fluid sample to test for drugs, Mr Taaffe said any test would prove positive as his client had ‘one last hurrah’ over the bank holiday weekend and had consumed cocaine.

‘He is misleading us and his family with empty promises and the value of his assurances is very little,’ said Judge McNulty.

He added that the suggestion that 20 deal bags were for the defendant’s own personal use was not believable and he sentenced him to 10 months on the sale or supply charge.

He also directed him to enter a probation bond on the simple possession charge and place himself under the supervision of the probation services for one year, which is also to include random urinalysis.

The judge also sentenced him to 90 days in prison on the obstruction charge which is to run concurrently with the longer sentence refusing to suspend any part of the sentence.

Recognisances for an appeal were fixed in the defendant’s own bond of €500 cash. As a condition while out on bail appealing his sentence Mr O’Driscoll was directed to refrain from using or consuming controlled drugs.

The judge also directed him to not to engage in the sale, supply or storage of drugs or the collection of debts ‘associated with this dirty business.’

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