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Saturday 25 January 2020

Grieving man had a cannabis 'slip' after tragic loss of baby

Karl McQuillan (30) had battled drug addiction in the past
Karl McQuillan (30) had battled drug addiction in the past

A grieving man had a "slip" and was caught with cannabis following the tragic stillbirth of his baby, a court has heard.

Karl McQuillan (30) had battled drug addiction in the past but had been clean for some time.

Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered McQuillan to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of two months in prison.

The defendant, of Cherry Park, River Valley, Swords, admitted possession of cannabis last May 23.

Garda Philip Walsh told Swords District Court that he was on mobile patrol when he saw a vehicle driving on Swords Main Street and heading in the direction of Longlands estate.

Gda Walsh said he indicated for the vehicle to pull over, and when he spoke to the occupants he got a strong smell of cannabis.

Regretted

Gda Walsh said he told McQuillan he was going to search him for drugs, and the defendant volunteered that he had €120 of cannabis.

The court heard McQuillan had 24 previous convictions, including a number for drugs.

Solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said McQuillan had difficulties with drugs in the past but he had been clean for some time.

She added the defendant's partner lost a baby earlier this year. McQuillan had also thought he was the father of a second child. However, DNA results when the baby was seven months old showed that he was not the father.

Ms D'Arcy said this was all "a slip", McQuillan "deeply regretted" his behaviour and he was trying to get his life back on track. He had also been seeing a drugs counsellor in Swords, the solicitor added.

Ms D'Arcy asked the judge not to jail McQuillan, saying he was anxious to be with his partner this Christmas as she had been expecting last Christmas.

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