25 Jun 2022

Student caught with cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine appears in court in Offaly

Student caught with cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine appears in court in Offaly

Student caught with cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine appears in court in Offaly

A man charged with carrying drugs into a music festival had no previous convictions, the local district court was told last week.

On August 8, 2019, Jonathan Martin Hoban, Ballywatten, Tynagh, Loughrea, Co. Galway, attended a music festival at Charleville Castle in Tullamore.

He was caught with cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The value of the drugs was €330.

Mr Hoban had no previous convictions and wasn't selling them for profit. His solicitor said he had naively opted to carry the drugs into the concert.

The mechanical engineering student was also working part-time in Greenisle Foods. He was very concerned and had informed the college and his place of work in relation to the charges against him, the court heard. He was described as hard-working and his father was in court with him.

Judge Staines asked him if he was still taking cocaine. He said no.

She told him cocaine comes from places like Columbia and Brazil and the people who are involved in the drugs trade in these places create devastation in their countries through murder and rape so they can provide cocaine "to young privileged people like you."

“You are part of that and are supporting that chain," said Judge Staines.

She asked him if he realised that the offence carried a 12-month prison sentence. She told him he had shown total disrespect for his father.

However, she noted he had no previous convictions and was trying to study.

Judge Staines said she would give him an opportunity to make a contribution to charity and directed him to pay €500 to Offaly Domestic Violence Support Services who she said did great work.

"You will only get this chance once," added Judge Staines.

Striking out the case she told him he would get this chance only once. "Go to festivals and enjoy yourself. You don't need drugs to enjoy yourself," she advised.

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