A BROTHER of model and TV presenter Glenda Gilson has agreed to do charity work to avoid a one-month jail term for a dangerous drug driving incident.
Damien Gilson (36) had been caught with half-smoked cannabis joint in his car after a motorist reported his dangerous driving to gardaí.
Last June at Dublin District Court, he was given a six-year road ban, a €3,000 fine and a three-month suspended sentence.
He had been found guilty of driving under the influence of cannabis at Diswellstown Road, in north Dublin, and dangerous driving at the Phoenix Park, on September 8, 2010.
Jobless Gilson, whose car sales business has gone into liquidation, had also been convicted of three further charges for unlawful possession of cannabis on the same date.
However he brought an appeal against the severity of the penalties to Dublin Circuit Court.
Garda Paul Doona told Judge Terence O'Sullivan at the appeal court that Gilson was tracked down after a motorist spotted him dangerously driving a '08-registered Land Rover Discovery along the quays in Dublin city-centre.
The motorist followed Gilson along Chesterfield Avenue, the main road through Phoenix Park, and reported his driving to gardaí. Gilson was witnessed crossing a continuous white line as he overtook several vehicles. “Numerous vehicles had to take evasive action,” the garda said referring to on-coming traffic.
Gda Doona said he caught up with the Land Rover after it left the park and saw its right rear wheel clip the side of a roundabout. The garda said Gilson, who did not address the court, pulled over but was “less than co-operative” and became "abusive".
“I had noticed there was a smell of cannabis from the vehicle, he handed over a cigarettes pack which contained a part smoked joint,” Gda Doona said.
Gilson, who has an address at Raglan Road, in Dublin, was brought to Blanchardstown Garda station where a little bag containing cannabis herb and cannabis resin was found hidden in his left sock.
A urine sample he provided to gardaí showed he had been driving while under the influence of cannabis. Gilson had five prior criminal convictions, three for assault and two for careless driving, Judge O'Sullivan heard.
Defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe told Judge O'Sullivan that Gilson had been in the motor trade but that business is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. He is not entitled to social welfare has had to move back in with his parents.
The defence lawyer also said Gilson, who was granted free legal aid, has undergone anger-management counselling and pleaded with the court to lessen the penalties imposed by the district court last year.
Judge O'Sullivan banned him from driving for four years and taking Gilson's current financial circumstances into consideration, he fined him €200 which must be paid within four months otherwise he will be jailed for seven days in default.
Yesterday, the appeal court judge also ordered Gilson to carry out 20 hours of charity work in lieu of a one month jail term.