BEHAVIOUR bordering on “brazen stupidity” cost a man 18 months in jail as he drove a car to within metres of a garda station and then threw a €6,800 stash of heroin out the window as a detective approached.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that making it more inexplicable was the fact that the defendant was a disqualified driver at the time when he parked just around the corner from the garda station.
Det Garda Pat Barry was on routine patrol at 11am and had come out of Gurranabraher garda station when he saw 37-year-old Anthony Hornibrook pull up in a Silver Volvo, just out of sight of the station.
The detective said the accused was dropping his partner who was calling in to the station to sign the book in the public office.
“On seeing us he dropped a substance at the car door.
I observed that it was a quantity of suspected heroin.
“He was arrested and taken into the station to be interviewed.”
The total amount of heroin seized came to €6,800.
He also had €1,345 in cash on him at the time.
The accused man had 74 previous convictions. The most relevant previous count was for having drugs for sale or supply March 2009.
In this latest case that occurred only three months ago, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a jail term of two years with the last six months suspended.
Hornibrook of 71 Killala Garden, Knocknaheeny, Cork, signed pleas of guilty to two charges, namely that on January 27 at Bakers Road, Cork, he had Diamorphine (heroin) for his own use and he had the drug for sale or supply.
Defence barrister, Dermot Sheehan said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, “He was funding his heroin addiction through dealing.
“He is a chronic addict. He has detoxified while in custody. He is anxious to get off this drug.
“He tells me that at the time of this offence he had slipped back into use of drugs – heroin. He has undergone detox."
Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “I accept this is a plea in early course – a signed plea.
"It is almost brazen stupidity. He drives up in front of a garda station at a time when he is disqualified from driving and then when the guard comes up to him he throws the packet out the window.”
The judge said that sadly, the defendant had let himself go to a fairly fundamental degree and undoubtedly would need help.
“But I believe the generator of the help primarily must be the person himself,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.