Driver ‘joked’ that flour was bag of cocaine

January 11th, 2023 11:45 AM

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A BALLINSCARTHY motorist told gardaí that a bag of flour found in his car during a search was cocaine. 

However, it turned out not to be the case and he thought ‘he was being smart,’ a court sitting recently heard.

Joe McCarthy (21) of Tullig, Ballinscarthy pleaded guilty to the possession of cannabis at Clonakilty District Court.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that on July 5th last year Garda Michael Holleran stopped the defendant’s car at Grillagh, Clonakilty.

‘He formed the opinion that Mr McCarthy may have been in possession of a controlled substance and carried out a search of the car,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘He handed over a clear plastic bag of cannabis herb and admitted it was for his own personal use and the value was €25.’

The court heard that a bag of flour was also found in the car and as ‘a joke’ he told Garda Holleran that it was cocaine. 

However, following forensics tests it turned out to be just flour. 

Solicitor Eamonn Fleming said his client has no previous convictions.

He handed into court a reference from his client’s employer. 

He said Mr McCarthy has had clear urinalysis tests going back to the start of 2022, with the most recent sample taken from him on November 2nd.

‘He bought the cannabis as an experiment and very much regrets doing so,’ said the solicitor. 

‘He was just 19 at the time and he thought he was being smart saying the flour was cocaine,’ Mr Fleming told the court.

Judge James McNulty told Mr McCarthy to come back to court in a year’s time. 

The judge said the gardaí have liberty to re-enter the matter should he come to the attention of gardaí in the meantime.

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