independent

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cocaine driver was going to meet brother's coffin

OFFENCE DETECTED AS HE WAITED FOR HEARSE

COCAINE was blamed for the behaviour of a Taghmon motorist arrested and convicted of a drugged drive offence dealt with at Enniscorthy District Court last week.

The offence committed by Stephen Quigley from Ross Road in Taghmon took place on the evening when the remains of his dead brother was returned to Ireland from the U.K. Judge Donnchadh Ó Buachalla was told that, as a result of his arrest outside Enniscorthy town, the defendant belatedly reached the funeral home after the lid had been put on the brother's coffin.

The defendant came to the attention of Garda Jason Seward after there was an accident on the N11 on the evening of October 31 at Kilagoley. At the scene, Quigley confirmed that he was the driver of the Mitsubishi jeep which had been rear-ended by a Fiat Punto. The young Punto driver took responsibility for the collision.

However Garda Seward and his colleague Brian Phillips became concerned at the condition of Quigley and he was arrested. He provided a urine sample when he was taken to the barracks. The results of the laboratory analysis showed that there was a concentration of just 27 mgs. alcohol per 100 millilitres, well under the 107 mgs. legal limit. However, the sample was then re-examined in the laboratory and 'cocaine class', as Garda Seward put it, was detected this time.

Barrister Dorothy Donovan suggested that the glassy eyed condition of her client could have been accounted for by tears of grief for the dead brother. She explained that the defendant was in Kilagoley waiting to rendezvous with the hearse coming from Dublin Airport. Noting that the Gardaí had referred to his slurred speech, she suggested that this was the result of a speech impediment.

However, Judge Donnchadh Ó Buachalla was satisfied that the evidence supported a conviction. He was informed that a previous conviction for drink drive offences dating back to 1998 and 2006. He also had three convictions under the Mis-Use of Drugs Act on his record. Ms. Donnelly said her client was a single man with a child. He was described as unemployed and waiting to have his social welfare claim sorted out.

He was given a suspended four month prison sentence and disqualified for four years.

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