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High on dope, Glenda's brother caused havoc on mad 4x4 journey

A BROTHER of model and TV presenter Glenda Gilson could have killed someone because of his dangerous drug driving, a judge has said.

Judge Ann Watkin found that Damien Gilson drove while he was under the influence of cannabis, on September 8, 2010.

She also said he had lied in evidence, his driving could have caused "road rage" and that he had to sort out his anger management problem.

Dublin District Court heard that Gilson had been tailgating and dangerously overtaking other cars before gardai stopped him and found a half-smoked cannabis joint in the 2008-reg Land Rover Discovery he had been driving, along with more cannabis stashed in one of his socks.

Gilson (35) who will be sentenced in June, had pleaded not guilty to driving "under the influence of an intoxicant" at Diswellstown Road, in north Dublin, and dangerous driving at the Phoenix Park, on September 8, 2010.

Jobless Gilson, whose car sales business is in liquidation, also denied three charges of unlawful possession of cannabis on the same date.

Witness Tim McNulty told Judge Watkin that he called gardai to report Gilson for dangerous driving in Phoenix Park. He said on-coming cars were forced onto a hard shoulder to avoid a collision. He said that earlier, in the city, Gilson had been beeping his horn, accelerating hard and changing lanes aggressively.

Garda Paul Doona said that he saw Gilson clip a roundabout after he left Phoenix Park. He stopped Gilson and "observed his eyes were blood-shot, his eyes were glazed and his speech was hesitant", There was a smell of cannabis coming from inside the car.



Pressure

Gilson handed him a packet of cigarettes which contained a "half-smoked rolled joint of cannabis".

He was searched at Blanchardstown Garda Station and cannabis was found hidden in his left sock. A urine sample showed he had been under the influence of the drug, the court heard.

In evidence, Gilson said it was rush hour and rejected claims he had been driving aggressively. He denied overtaking two cars in Phoenix Park and clipping the roundabout.

Judge Watkin found him guilty on all charges and said she believed he had lied in evidence.

She heard that Gilson had four prior convictions, including two for careless driving. He also has one conviction for assault and another for assault causing harm.

The judge said Gilson drove aggressively, "the sort of thing that results in road rage", and could have killed someone.

Michael O'Connor, defending, said Gilson had major money difficulties with creditors and at the time was under "enormous pressure". He is not getting social welfare and is "relying on the kindness of his family".

After the verdict, Gilson, of Raglan Road, Dublin, told the court he had not been taking any other type of drug, only cannabis adding "just a bit of that because my business went down the tubes".

Judge Watkin said he should take part in an anger management course.

hnews@herald.ie


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