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Ex-garda got friend to take drugs blame

A FORMER garda who perverted the course of justice on two occasions and admitted having cocaine for sale or supply has been remanded in custody for sentencing at a later date.

Stephen Cooper (29) allowed a friend to take the blame when gardai found the drug LSD during a search at the Electric Picnic music festival.

Detective Garda Stephen Courage told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, that on September 5, 2009, Cooper and his friends, Niall Wolfe and Luke Barnett, were at the music festival in Stradbally, Co Laois.

Mr Wolfe was outside of the festival grounds and Cooper rang him from inside and asked him to bring Cooper's wallet into the festival.

When gardai stopped Mr Wolfe and searched him they found the wallet contained the controlled drug LSD, the detective told Mr Gillane.

Mr Wolfe telephoned Cooper who became agitated and Mr Barnett agreed to "take the rap" and said the drugs were his.

Mr Barnett was prosecuted for possession of the drug. He pleaded guilty at Portlaoise District Court and was ordered to pay €300 to the poor box.

Cooper of The Green, Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice between September 5, 2009, and September 2, 2010, by allowing Luke Barnett to be wrongfully prosecuted on September 2, 2010.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Judge Mary Ellen Ring remanded Cooper in custody and adjourned the matter until April 2 next.

IMPLICATING

Cooper pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice between August 19, 2010 and October 21, 2011 when he attempted to get Stephanie Lynch to make a false statement implicating Wayne Finane in the theft of a car they had just bought in the city centre.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply on January 31, 2011.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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