Tuesday 25 June 2019

Cannabis and public order charges against priest's 'secret son' dropped

Tim Healy

DRUG and public order charges against the son of the late Fr Michael Cleary were dismissed under the Probation Act yesterday after he paid ?220 witness expenses.

Ross Hamilton (26) pleaded guilty last October to seven charges relating to three separate incidents between December 2003 and September 2004.

Hamilton, of Mount Harold's Terrace, Harold's Cross, Dublin, admitted possessing a small quantity of cannabis resin at St James's Hospital on September 5 last and to breach of the peace and being drunk.

He also pleaded guilty to being drunk and breaching the peace at the North Road, Phoenix Park, in June and to two similar charges at Lower Rathmines Road the previous December.

At Dublin District Court last March, after a probation report on Hamilton had been furnished, Judge Gerard Haughton said he was prepared to deal with the charges under the Probation Act if the defendant paid the witness expenses involved in the case.

The court heard he was prepared to do so but needed some time to get the money as he was on social welfare.

The case was adjourned until yesterday to allow him to obtain the ?220, which was paid yesterday.

Judge McDonnell, noting that some of the offences had been committed in St James's Hospital, observed that it was just as well that the case had previously come before Judge Haughton and not himself.

However, he said that he would apply Judge Haughton's order and he dismissed all charges under the Probation Act, which meant Hamilton left court without a criminal record.

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