Friday 20 April 2018

Irish woman tried to flee Malta court after drugs charges

Arrested: Imelda O’Brien
Arrested: Imelda O’Brien

Robin Schiller and Alan O'Keeffe

A young Irish woman who faces drug charges while on holiday in Malta attempted to flee from a court room after being refused bail.

Imelda O'Brien (22), who is originally from Terenure in Dublin, was one of four people who appeared before a sitting of Malta Magistrates Court on a drug offences charge.

Ms O'Brien was arraigned on Friday morning along with three British nationals on drug charges after they were arrested at a party in the Qawra area of the country.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed they are providing consular assistance to the family.

Ms O'Brien pleaded not guilty to possession of 19 ecstasy tablets, a small quantity of ketamine as well as four packets of mephedrone.

Due to her not-guilty plea Ms O'Brien is due to appear before the court at a future date, but Magistrate Frendo Dimench refused to release the defendant from arrest as she does not have a fixed address in the jurisdiction.

However, as the presiding judge ordered her to be returned to custody, the young Irish woman attempted to escape from the court room and had to be restrained by officials. She was returned to a district police station following the court hearing, where she ­continues to be held.

A spokesperson for Ms O'Brien's family said they were "waiting for news" on her ­predicament, adding that they did not wish to comment any further.

Her court appearance came the day after convicted Irish drug-trafficker Michaella ­McCollum was released from a Peruvian prison on parole after serving over two years.

Imelda O'Brien is the sister of Lynsey O'Brien (15), who tragically fell to her death from the Costa Magica cruise ship sailing out of Fort Lauderdale in Florida in January 2006 during a family holiday to the Caribbean.

Their father, Paul O'Brien (49), passed away in tragic circumstances in 2013.

Irish Independent

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