Monday 18 December 2017

Engineer got 'horse drugs' for birthday

AN engineer who bought €2,000 worth of horse tranquillisers to celebrate his 30th birthday has been left without drugs convictions after making a charity donation.

Patrick Molloy (30) had the powerful sedative drug in his car when it was searched outside his home in Dublin.

Judge David McHugh struck the case out after he paid €2,000 to charity at Blanchardstown District Court.

Molloy, of Robinhood Park, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of ketamine at that address on February 9 last.

Sgt Mary Doherty said gardai carried out a search of a car on the day in question and found a package containing a white powder.

The accused accepted ownership of it and identified the drug to gardai. It was sent for analysis and proved to be 28.6g of ketamine, with a value of around €2,000.

The defendant had no previous convictions and co-operated fully with the investigation. He was not detained on the day but went to the gardai later and made a voluntary statement. He stated that the drug was for his own use.

Molloy had made a "stupid error of judgement" which had been hanging over him ever since, his barrister Elizabeth Davey said.

College

The accused had worked as a mechanic before deciding to return to education and take a degree course in mechanical engineering at DIT. He excelled in college and had been a class rep for two years.

He had completed his final exams and secured a two-year contract with a large multinational company. This position would require him to travel to the US.

The court heard the accused was involved in his community, and dedicated a lot of time to his boxing club.

"He is very apologetic for his actions - he had no idea that the slip he had could lead to this," Ms Davey said. "He is very remorseful and terrified."

Asked about the drug, she said ketamine was originally used to treat injured soldiers in Vietnam. It was a sedative that could be used as a horse tranquilliser.

It only became a controlled drug in Ireland in 2010. In the UK it was a "Class C" drug, regarded as causing the least amount of harm.

Ms Davey said there was "something of a question" about the value of the drugs but she was not disputing it.

"The reason he had it was, it was coming up to his 30th birthday," she explained.

hnews@herald.ie

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