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I had chicken in my bag, not drugs says dad who fled gardai

A NEWSPAPER advertising worker led gardai on a "serious pursuit" through Dublin city centre when he was suspected of having a "bag of drugs" that he claimed was takeaway chicken.

Thomas Obideke (35) ran from armed officers through busy shopping streets and discarded the bag before being eventually caught running up escalators in the Jervis Centre.

He insisted he did not know they were gardai and was fearful because he was a victim of a previous stabbing.

Obideke was jailed for three months after a judge found him guilty of obstructing a drugs search in the incident.

The father-of-one with an address at Thomas Court Grove, Dublin 8, had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Detective Garda Peter Nester said he was on patrol on Parnell Street at 6.04pm on May 7 when he saw two men in a suspected drugs transaction. One was the accused and he appeared to be selling drugs from a "medium-sized plastic bag".

He approached in his unmarked patrol car and identified himself, showing his badge and telling them he intended carrying out a search.

Both men fled and the garda chased the defendant as he ran up Parnell Street, Wolfe Tone Street, Mary Street and Jervis Street, across Jervis Park and on to Abbey Street.

The garda chased him into the Jervis Centre and arrested him. At some point during the pursuit, the accused discarded the bag, which was never recovered.

In cross-examination, Det Garda Nester insisted his siren was on and that he shouted: "Armed garda, stop."

The defendant told the court he had been in Parnell Street playing snooker and drinking with friends. He asked a friend to get food in Nando's and met him outside Cineworld with the bag.

He saw a silver car with two men in it. They said "excuse me" but he did not know who they were and did not want to talk to them.

Hospitalised

The car began to move and he started running. The defendant explained that in 2010, he was hospitalised after being stabbed five times in "an incident like that".

As soon as he heard a siren and saw uniformed gardai, he ran to them, he said. He was grabbed and arrested.

In cross-examination, he said he had asked for "Nando's or McDonald's" food and in the end did not even look in the bag before the chase.

Judge Watkin said she did not believe a word of the defendant's evidence.

aphelan@herald.ie


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