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Chef broke his ankle running away from gardaí with €1,300 worth of cannabis


Balbriggan District Court

Balbriggan District Court

Balbriggan District Court


A chef who broke his ankle running away from gardaí was found with cannabis worth more than €1,300 in his bag, a court has heard.

Anthony Mullen was at a bus stop in Balbriggan and admitted having a joint but fled when he was asked if he had anything else on him.

The 32-year-old was approached by Garda David Woods at the stop on Dublin Street, Balbriggan on March 9 last by Garda David Woods.

The garda noticed a strong smell of cannabis and the 32-year-old admitted having a joint.

However, when he was asked if he had anything else in his bag, he took off running but fell over after a short time, fracturing his ankle in the process. A subsequent search of his bag revealed cannabis with a value of over €1,300.

The defendant, with an address at Bath Road, Balbriggan, was charged with possession of drugs and having drugs for sale or supply arising out of the incident.

The drugs seized were cannabis and have a street value of €1,300.

Mullen has six previous convictions, including three for misuse of drugs, the last of which was on August 14, 2018.

Defence barrister Annette Kealy said Mullen had suffered a "very serious injury" as a result of what happened.

"He accepts it was his own doing," she said. "He has paid a high price for it."

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She said Mullen was very interested in fitness and running but now doubts he will be able to run again.

The barrister said at the time of the incident Mullen was very down and anxious because of covid and was using a lot of cannabis.

"He made a mistake and is taking steps to address this."

The defendant had been out of work but is now back working as a chef and is doing very well. He has also been to see his doctor and is now on anti-anxiety medication, Ms Kealy added.

"He is extremely remorseful and he vows something like this will never happen again."

Mullen is willing to engage with the Probation Services, she said.

"He made an extremely bad error in judgement but he has taken massive steps to address this and rectify the situation."

However, Judge Dermot Dempsey noted the defendant has a Peace Bond dating back to 2018 for possession of drugs.

"He didn't seem to learn from that," the judge said.

The barrister said the accused was "100% remorseful" and was working very hard to change things.

"It's not that he didn't learn his lesson, he had a habit that got out of hand but he has got on top of that now," she said.

Asked by the judge whether the defendant is still using cannabis the solicitor said he was using "very little" and was trying to give up completely.

Adjourning the case to January 27 to allow time for the preparation of a Probation Report and urine analysis, judge Dempsey warned: "He better address his problem, he's on his fourth strike in terms of drugs."