A Kinnegad man has been found guilty of possession of cocaine and fined at Mullingar District Court last week.
Judge John Lindsay found John Quinn, 51 Riverside Lawns guilty of possession of the drugs after a lengthy hearing which involved a number of witnesses.
Mr Quinn denied evidence given by Garda John Daly, and substantiated by retired Garda Roger Nicholson, that he had been snorting what looked like cocaine when they saw him sitting in a car in the car park of a Kinnegad pub.
Garda Daly said that although it was dark shortly after midnight on August 24 2008, he had his torch and was definite that he had seen Mr Quinn putting something to his nose, flustering, and then throwing something on the floor.
He could also see white powder along the front of Mr Quinn’s t-shirt and a search of the vehicle revealed a wrap of cocaine which Mr Quinn said was not his.
Mr Quinn said he had met a friend in Scanlon’s pub and asked if he could borrow his car to go home to change out of his runners and get money to go out in Mullingar.
Peter Doyle of Hardwood, Kinnegad told the court the red Volkswagen Golf was his but he did not own the drugs and knew nothing about them. Similar evidence was given by the passenger in the car whom Mr Quinn met while he was having a cigarette before he left.
Brendan Geraghty of 2 Sycamore Lawns, Trim Road, Kinnegad disputed the Garda version of events, saying Mr Quinn had been outside the car when the gardaí drove in, because he had been urinating against a wall.
Mr Quinn also gave this version of events, adding that when he was “strip searched” at the garda station following his arrest, no drugs were found on him.
He said he had not been in the car at all and denied any knowledge of the cocaine.
Following cross-examination of Mr Quinn’s witnesses by Inspector Jarlath Folan, Judge John Lindsay said he preferred the evidence of the gardaí and convicted Mr Quinn.
“I don’t believe Mr Geraghty and I don’t believe Mr Quinn,” he said, imposing a €100 fine on the 27-year-old butcher.
Mr Louis Kiernan said his client had never been in trouble before and was not into drugs.
Judge Lindsay ordered that the drugs be destroyed.