herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Murdered man's brother found with cannabis in house

Clifford Whitehouse avoided jail by paying €250 to a charity
Clifford Whitehouse avoided jail by paying €250 to a charity

A brother of a man murdered nearly four years ago was caught with cannabis after his home was raided by gardai.

Clifford Whitehouse (42) had his case struck out after he made a charitable donation.

His brother, Benny, was shot dead almost four years ago in front of his partner after he had dropped his child off at school in Balbriggan.

The defendant, who has 37 previous convictions, including convictions for violent disorder, burglary and possession of knives, made a donation of €250 to a local charity.

Once the donation was made, Judge John Coughlan struck the case out.

Drogheda District Court was told the defendant's house at Marley Court in Drogheda was searched by gardai and cannabis with a value of €70 was recovered,

The drug was for his own use, the court heard.

The defendant pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of the cannabis on July 28, 2017.

Affray

Defence solicitor Patrick Goodwin said that his client had €250 that he would offer as a charitable donation.

Last year, Whitehouse was given a four-month suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to affray on West Street in Drogheda on July 13, 2015.

He and another brother, Jimmy (39), of Beechwood Avenue, Drogheda, became involved in what was described as a "vicious" fight which took place in a busy street just before midday.

They used a brush and a chair as weapons during the altercation, which was described as "vicious and nasty" and took place in front of nearly 100 onlookers in the Co Louth town.

Another man was given a 10-month sentence for the part he played in the incident.

It was alleged that the other man, with whom the Whitehouses were involved in a feud, had started to shout abuse at them as the brothers walked along the street.

At that time, Mr Goodwin explained: "Their brother was shot in relation to a similar feud.

"During the course of the fight, the others produced a knife, and that's what made the defendants arm themselves with a brush and a chair.

"It's not an excuse but an explanation."

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