A 20-YEAR-old Donegal man who was arrested for the possession of cannabis handed over to gardaí a Swiss Army flick knife which was concealed in his boxer shorts, a court heard.
Darren Gormley of Glengar Scotch, Letterkenny, Donegal pleaded guilty at a recent sitting of Bandon District Court to the possession of cannabis and a flick knife when gardaí boarded a Bus Éireann bus while operating a Covid checkpoint last year.
Sgt Trish O’Sullivan told the court that the incident occurred on March 3rd 2021 when garda stopped the bus near Innishannon and spoke to the defendant about his reasons for travelling at the time.
‘There was a strong smell of cannabis and Mr Gormley was nervous and acting in a anxious manner.
Gardaí took him off the bus and searched him and he was found with a bag of cannabis herb value at €80 and a joint,’ said Sgt O’Sullivan.
‘He handed over a Swiss Army flick knife concealed in his boxer shorts.’
The court heard that he has no previous convictions and that he received a fixed charge notice for travelling beyond 5km from his home.
Solicitor Myra Dinneen said her client did smoke cannabis and suffers from anxiety.
She handed a letter into court from his girlfriend’s mother, but Judge James McNulty said the court ‘doesn’t do justice by correspondence.’
‘I’m not looking for a pen pal and I’m not keen on the level of familiarity in the letter,’ Judge McNulty told the court.
Ms Dinneen said her client has ADHD and has an interest in cooking and is due to start a cooking course in Killybegs soon and that the flick knife was given to him as a present.
‘He doesn’t smoke cannabis now,’ said Ms Dinneen.
Judge McNulty said Mr Gormley was ‘ill-advised’ to be carrying a knife and he didn’t need it in West Cork.
Judge McNulty said he was a bit puzzled as to why Mr Gormley would be bothering with cannabis when he has enough going on.
He said the possession of the flick knife reads much worse than it is and dismissed the charge under the Probation Act.
He gave him a conditional discharge on the drug charge for two years on a probation bond of €1,000 with no cash required.
Judge McNulty also set down a special condition that Mr Gormley is not to use cannabis or any controlled drug during that period.
Finally, he directed the gardaí to hand back the flick knife to the defendant as he said it was a ‘sentimental present.’