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Male driver (21) under the influence of cocaine tried to evade gardaí on street

September 24th, 2023 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Male driver (21) under the influence of cocaine tried to evade gardaí on street Image

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A 21-YEAR-old Clonakilty man who tried to avoid gardaí after they saw him driving erratically through the town ended up being convicted for driving under the influence of cocaine, as well as possessing €200 worth of the drug.

Jack Cullinane of 21 Convent Court, Clonakilty was charged with dangerous driving, drug driving, and the possession of cocaine at Sandlighter Crescent, Clonakilty on October 29th 2022. A charge of drink driving was withdrawn by the prosecution.

At Clonakilty District Court last week, his solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client is currently in Australia and has no intention of coming back. 

He said he was instructed on behalf of his client to enter a guilty plea to all charges and added that his client’s aunt and grandmother were in court to hear the case.

Sgt Tom Mulcahy said that on October 29th last Gda Shane Gray was on patrol in Clonakilty when he saw a red Toyota Corolla driven by Mr Cullinane on Wolfe Tone Street.

‘He was driving in an erratic manner and drove through a junction and failed to stop at a stop sign. 

‘He also hit a kerb,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

‘Gda Gray activated his lights and the car sped off, swerving from side to side. When gardaí caught up to the car they saw two males exiting it at Sandlighter Crescent.’

Mr Cullinane was arrested and handed over a bag of cocaine and made certain admissions to the gardaí. 

He was conveyed to Bandon Garda Station and an oral fluid sample taken from him came up positive for cocaine.

The court heard that he has no previous convictions and had written a letter to the court. Mr Murphy said his client had troubled teenage years and had left for Australia before the summons arrived at his home.

‘It’s not an excuse, but he is doing well and he made a decision before this that he was going down the wrong road,’ said Mr Murphy.

Judge James McNulty said there were three significant mitigating factors when it came to this case, including an early plea, no previous convictions, and the fact he handed over the bag of cocaine.

The judge convicted and fined him €300 for driving while under the influence of cocaine and €200 for the possession of the drug. 

He also disqualified him from driving for one year.

He adjourned the dangerous driving charge until next month and said he would strike that charge out, provided the fines on the other offences were paid.

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