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30 Jun 2022

Judge dismisses drug prosecutions against two Offaly defendants

Tullamore courthouse

Drug prosecutions dismissed at Tullamore District Court

SEPARATE allegations of drug possession against two defendants were dismissed at Tullamore District Court by Judge Patricia Cronin.

Neither of the accused persons, Leona Hynes (32), 336 The Sycamores, Edenderry and Ian Dunne (35), 6 Canal View, Daingean were in court when the prosecutions were brought before the court.

Garda Enda Kenny gave evidence that during a search at Ms Hynes' address on November 12, 2021 cocaine worth €15 was found on a saucer in the kitchen.

Garda Kenny said Ms Hynes stated the cocaine was for her own personal use and she signed the garda's notebook to that effect.

On November 26 last year another search took place at the woman's home and suspected heroin was found inside the plastic of a Kinder egg in her bedroom.

Garda Kenny estimated the heroin's value at about €20 and stated that Ms Hynes said it was for her own personal use.

He added that those drugs were forwarded to Forensic Science Ireland for analysis and the test result stated it was diamorphine [otherwise known as heroin]. A copy of the certificate of analysis was handed into the court.

Judge Cronin said the original should be in court and Garda Kenny said it was in the garda station.

Judge Cronin said she had no evidence whatsoever that the alleged drugs found on November 12 were forwarded for testing, nor was there evidence of what the substance was.

In relation to the heroin she had no original certificate so she had no option but to dismiss the matters.

Garda Kenny said the cocaine had not been forwarded for analysis because a presumptive drug test would only be done once a date for a plea or a hearing was set for the court.

Judge Cronin said she could not be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt so she could not convict on either the cocaine or the heroin charge.

In relation to Mr Dunne, Garda Kenny said on December 10 last year he stopped a red Mitsubishi Lancer at Derrygowley, Daingean and when he spoke to the driver, who was the accused man Ian Dunne, he noted a strong smell of cannabis from the vehicle.

A small amount of cannabis was found in Mr Dunne's jacket and the accused said it was his and was for his own personal use and after caution he signed a notebook to that effect.

Garda Kenny again said in that instance a presumptive test of the substance would only be done once either a date for a hearing or a plea was set.

He explained that was the procedure the gardai were following at the moment. He handed his notebook into the court.

Judge Cronin said she had to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt and there was nothing before her to show that cannabis was found.

She said that maybe the cases needed to go back for the testing to be carried out and the result would be made available to the court.

Garda Kenny said he would make his superiors aware of the court's view.

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