Thursday 17 October 2019

Young man (22) avoids jail term

A young man who was caught with nearly €3,000 worth of cocaine and locked his car doors telling a garda to 'f**k off' and turned violent when the garda attempted to search the car has avoided a prison sentence.

Zach Parker (22) has been ordered to complete 240 hours community service work in lieu of three months in prison after he was deemed suitable by the Probation Services. He also provided the court with clear urine analysis to prove he is no longer taking drugs.

Swords District Court heard the defendant claimed he chipped in with friends to purchase the drugs and was using the drug as he was "going through a bad patch."

When he was stopped he assaulted Garda David Smith during a violent struggle after Gda Smith managed to get him to open the car door, Swords District Court heard.

The defendant then tried to discard the cocaine but after he was arrested he made full admissions.

Parker, of Jugback Lane in Swords pleaded guilty to being in possession of €2,950 worth of cocaine for sale or supply at the Malahide Roundabout in north Dublin on February 4, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to being in simple possession of the drugs, contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on the same date.

He has two previous convictions for road traffic offences.

Gda Smith told the court he observed Parker driving a car in an erratic manner near the Malahide Roundabout at 7.45pm.

He signalled the defendant to stop but he drove for a further 20 metres before stopping. He then locked the car doors and told Gda Smith to 'f**k off.'

A violent struggle ensued and the defendant assaulted Gda Smith. Gda Smith said he had "no lasting injuries" as a result of the assault.

Defence barrister Annette Kealy said the defendant had arranged with friends that he would pick up the drugs package.

'A number of mates contributed to the cost of the drugs and the struggle ensued as he panicked,' she said.

'He apologised and made admissions,' she said. Ms Kealy explained the defendant turned to drugs as a coping mechanism after his grandmother became terminally ill.

'He cared for her and relied on her. He began to take drugs as a coping mechanism and got into a drug habit,' she said.

She said the defendant, who worked as a barber for seven years, lost his job as a result.

'He is regretful and is now free of drugs,' she said, adding he has €1,000 in court as a charitable contribution if the court sees fit.

'He is fundamentally a person of good character and was going through a bad patch at the time.'

Judge Dermot Dempsey handed down the community service work order ordered €1,000 in compensation to be paid over to the Merchant's Quay Project.

Fingal Independent