Sentence reduced for selling cannabis but another imposed for drunk driving

A circuit court judge reduced a five-month sentence, imposed on a man for selling a small quantity of cannabis, but he directed that another sentence imposed on the same man for drunken driving, run consecutively to the drugs related sentence.

Francis Barrett (36 ), 2 Saint Nicholas Park, Doughiska, Galway, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court in April, to having a small quantity of cannabis in his possession and to having the drug for sale or supply to another when searched by Garda Brian Mulderrig on March 23 last at No 1 St Nicholas Park, Doughiska.

Judge Mary Fahy imposed a five-month sentence on Barrett at the time and she directed that the sentence run consecutively to a three-month sentence Barrett was serving at the time for an unrelated offence.

Barrett appealed the severity of the five-month sentence to the Circuit Court but while out on bail awaiting that appeal he again found himself back before Judge Fahy in the District Court on July 7 last, where a six-month sentence was imposed on him following his fourth conviction for drunken driving.

Barrett appealed that sentence too to the Circuit Court last week, but when Judge Raymond Groarke heard an outline of the facts in relation to both the drugs charge and the drunken driving charge he affirmed the orders of the District Court and directed the sentences be served consecutively.

The judge said that the law required that the sentences be served consecutively as they were entirely different and serious offences. The judge then had a change of heart and he directed that the five-month sentence, imposed for the drug dealing charge, be reduced to three months.

A seven-year driving ban, imposed on Barrett for the drunken driving charge in the District Court remains.

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