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Kealkil drug-driver was seen crossing white line

June 7th, 2023 5:14 PM

By Southern Star Team

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A MAN caught drug-driving in Kealkil has been given until June 8th to come up with a €500 fine. Colette McCarthy, solicitor, appeared at Bantry District Court in defence of Michael Burke (30) of 11 Dromleigh, Bantry, who was also prosecuted for possession of cannabis on a different date.

Sgt Trish O’Sullivan told Judge James McNulty that the driving offence occurred at Maulavanig in Kealkil on June 5th 2022.

The accused’s vehicle was seen crossing a continuous white line and the arresting officer formed the opinion that he was incapable of having proper control of the vehicle. An oral fluid test proved positive for cannabis, said the sergeant, who described the accused as having been ‘co-operative throughout’.

In defence of the charge of being in possession of €30 worth of cannabis, which was found during a search of the house at Dromleigh on July 30th last, Ms McCarthy said the amount was ‘miniscule.’

The sergeant informed the court that the accused has 17 previous convictions, three of which were drug-related.

‘It’s prison time,’ Judge McNulty stated after hearing evidence of the accused’s previous drug offending. But Ms McCarthy argued that it was 2020 since her client’s last drug conviction. She also applied, and was granted, free legal aid because her client is on job seeker’s allowance.

Judge McNulty noted that on January 12th last the accused had been ordered – in relation to an entirely separate matter – to do 90 hours community service. However, it was established that there had been a miscommunication and the accused was still available and willing to comply with that order.

At the recent sitting, the probation officer reaffirmed that the accused is suitable for community service, and Judge McNulty made a maximum order of 240 hours community service, which included the 90 hours imposed in January.

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