Pubgoer fined €300 for 'holding' stranger's cocaine
A father-of-two claimed a bag of cocaine that fell out of his pocket in front of gardai was given to him "to hold" by a man he did not know.
Gicusor Danila (48) had come to garda attention as he was drunk, unsteady on his feet and talking to some youths.
Judge Dermot Dempsey convicted and fined him €300.
The defendant, of Dun Saithne, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to possession of €70 cocaine, at Castle Mills, Balbriggan, on August 23, 2017. He had no previous convictions.
Defence barrister Annette Kealy told Balbriggan District Court the dad-of-two was standing outside a pub smoking a cigarette when someone asked him to hold the bag of cocaine.
"He foolishly did and realises it was a bad mistake," said Ms Kealy, adding that the defendant does not take drugs.
"He feels really bad and is worried about the consequences if he gets a drugs conviction. He is essentially a good man and made a ferocious mistake."
Sergeant Darren Farrelly said this excuse was not given to gardai at the time of his arrest.
"He had alcohol taken and his judgment was poor," Ms Kealy said.
In his evidence, Danila said he was asked to hold the drug, adding: "I regret it. I realise I shouldn't have done it. I don't know who he is."
Judge Dempsey said he was not accepting this, saying: "He can live with the consequences. I am not accepting he didn't know the man who handed him a bag of white powder."
Recognisances were set in the event of an appeal.