Sunday 18 March 2018

Took evidence bag from Garda


A MAN who grabbed a bag containing the butt of a suspected cannabis joint out of the hand of a garda, was cleared of a drug possession charge but sentenced to two months in prison for obstruction by Donnchadh O'Buachalla at Wexford District Court.

Philip Sinnott, Main Street, Taghmon was cleared on a charge of cannabis possession at Main Street, Taghmon on December 10, 2009 after his solicitor pointed out that the State did not show evidence that the butt actually contained cannabis.

He was convicted of obstructing a garda at Main Street, Taghmon on the same date.

Inspector Pat Mc Donald said Garda Shane O' Sullivan stopped the defendant's car and told him he was going to search it under the Misuse of Drugs Act. He was assisted by Garda James Kearney who found a butt of a suspected cannabis cigarette in the car.

He placed it in an evidence bag and labelled it but the defendant grabbed it out of his hand and ran away. Garda O' Sullivan chased him down the street and was assisted in restraining him by Garda Michael Murphy. The evidence bag was retrieved.

The defendant was brought to the garda station and charged with possession and obstruction. In reply, he said 'I don't know why I did it. It was stupid'. He told gardai that he didn't even smoke cannabis.

In reply to Eva Lalor, solicitor, Garda O' Sullivan said the location was Cottage Row but Ms. Lalor put it to him that the charge related to Main Street.

Garda O' Sullivan replied that Cottage Row was part of Main Street.

Judge O Buachalla struck out the cannabis possession charge after Ms. Lalor submitted that no evidence was given by the gardai that the cigarette butt contained cannabis.

In relation to the obstruction charge, Ms. Lalor said there was evidence that the correct address was Cottage Row and not Main Street.

However, Judge O Buachalla found the facts proven and sentenced the 24 years old father of three to two months in prison on the obstruction charge after hearing that he had 37 previous convictions.

A charge of careless driving outside Wexford District Court at Ardcavan Business Park on November 16, 2009, which was brought by Sergeant Sean Whelan, was marked taken into account.

Inspector McDonald said Sergeant Whelan saw him take off at speed, causing the wheels of his car to spin. He considered it a dangerous manoeuvre and believed he was doing it to show off to other people.

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