Wednesday 19 September 2018

Solicitor accused of bringing cocaine into Mountjoy has case adjourned

Aonghus McCarthy, a solicitor, is accused of conveying a controlled substance into Mountjoy Prison Pic: Courtpix
Aonghus McCarthy, a solicitor, is accused of conveying a controlled substance into Mountjoy Prison Pic: Courtpix

Andrew Phelan

Lawyers for a solicitor who is accused of bringing cocaine in to an inmate at Mountjoy Prison want to discuss what witnesses are to be called in his trial before a date is set, a court heard.

Aonghus McCarthy’s solicitor told Judge James Faughnan he “wanted to talk about witnesses with the State” before confirming the trial date.

Judge Faughnan adjourned the case for a week at Dublin District Court.

Mr McCarthy (32) is pleading not guilty to one count of conveying a controlled drug into Mountjoy Prison or a person in the prison, on February 8 last.

The accused, a solicitor who is based at Conyngham Road, directly across from the Criminal Courts of Justice, was allegedly found with €25 worth of cocaine in his wallet in a search at Mountjoy.

Today was the second court date for his case after he appeared before another judge last week.

March 14 had been set aside as a date for the trial and the case was before Judge Faughnan today to establish if an earlier date was available.

Defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe today said the case was moving toward a hearing date and asked the judge to adjourn it for another week.

“I want to talk about witnesses with the State,” he said.

Mr McCarthy, from Co Cork, but who has an address at Wellington House, Clancy Quay, Dublin 8, was not required to attend the brief hearing.

Judge Faughnan adjourned the case to December 8 and excused Mr McCarthy from attending again on that date.

He had been charged within the last month and had been granted garda station bail pending last week’s appearance.

Mr Hanahoe has said the trial will only take about 15 minutes. He said that there was a single issue which required his client to give evidence.

The court heard that there will also be two State witnesses giving evidence.

Previously, evidence of Mr McCarthy’s arrest and charging was outlined in a certificate furnished to the judge by court Garda sergeant Eimear Curran.

The sergeant said the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed “summary disposal” meaning the case was suitable to be heard in the district court.

In a summary of the prosecution evidence, the sergeant told the court it would be alleged the defendant entered the prison for a professional visit with an inmate. He went through a search area where he put his belt and wallet on a conveyor belt to be scanned, it was alleged.

Gda Sgt Curran alleged that as they passed through the scanner a prison officer observed a black object inside the wallet. The prison officer found a bag with a “white powder substance inside”.

It was suspected that it was a controlled drug and gardai were contacted, the court heard.

Gda Sgt Curran said the accused agreed to be interviewed at Mountjoy Garda station where he denied having known possession of the suspected drug or that he intended to pass it to an inmate.

The substance was found to contain cocaine worth €25, the court heard.

Another judge accepted jurisdiction for the case to remain in the district court.

Mr McCarthy’s law firm is on the panel of solicitors on the free legal aid scheme for criminal defence and also has a civil practice.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News