A 32 year old woman before Sligo District Court charged with forging a cheque and also drug driving had a serious drug addiction at the time, her solicitor told the court.
Melissa Gaffey of Racecourse View, Cranmore, Sligo was charged with lodging a cheque into her AIB account at Stephen St, Sligo for €700.16 which was initially written out for €7.16 on a date between January 17th 2020 and January 20th 2020. She was also charged with drug driving at Caltragh Crescent, Sligo on January 13th 2021.
Defending solicitor Mr Tom MacSharry said there was a plea. There was also a Probation Report in court.
Sergeant Derek Butler said on February 22nd 2020 a complaint was recevied from Jamie White of the AIB fraud section about an alleged fraud regarding a cheque for €7.16 with Melissa Gaffey as the payee which had been altered for €700.16 and lodged to the AIB account of Melissa Gaffey resulting in the loss of €693.
An investigation was carried out by Garda Luke Gray and Gaffey admitted changing the cheque.
Sgt Butler said in relation to the second charge that on January 13th 2021 at 11:06pm gardaí observed a Ford Focus being driven in Caltragh Crescent. They observed the vehicle’s headlamps were not adequately lit.
They stopped it and spoke to the driver, who was Melissa Gaffey. She provided a specimen and the results came back positive for cocaine.
She made admissions that she had taken cocaine earlier that day. She was arrested and brought to Ballymote Garda Station.
She did co-operate fully, he said. She had 3 previous offences for non display of tax and Public Order.
Mr MacSharry said she was a young lady who had developed a serious addiction issue and the tipping point for her was after the second offence. She sought help in March 2021 for her addiction issues and is now clean and sober and had fully engaged with the Probation Services. She was blinded by addiction at the time and she did say she was willing to pay compensation to the injured party.
She comes from a very respectable family and has turned her life around. On the drug driving charge, Judge Sandra Murphy convicted and fined her €250 and disqualified her for one year. On the other matter, she adjourned for six months for supervised drugs screening.