A MAN caught with a stash of cocaine appealed against his five-year jail term as his lawyers made a number of arguments including one that the accomplice got a shorter sentence.
David O’Driscoll is presently serving a five-year jail term.
However, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and let the sentence stand at five years as imposed by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin in May of this year.
John Devlin, barrister on behalf of on David O’Driscoll, of 40 Spriggs Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, argued that the headline sentence was set at six years and only reduced by one year with none of it suspended and that this did not take adequate account of the progress made by O’Driscoll in his attempts at rehabilitation.
“The discount of one year would objectively appear to be quite low given the headline sentence of six years,” Mr Devlin said.
Earlier this year at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, O’Driscoll, aged 35, pleaded guilty to a charge of having cocaine for sale or supply at the M8, Carrigane, Mitchelstown, County Cork.
Detective Garda Ian Cahalane said around €2,000 worth of the drugs was found scattered around on the floor of the car.
O’Driscoll also admitted charges of obstructing Garda Colin Dowling and driving dangerously.
His accomplice, who was a passenger in the car, got a five-year sentence with the last 18 months suspended. That was imposed on the single charge of possessing the cocaine for sale or supply.
Chief Justice, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, noted the charges on which O’Driscoll pleaded guilty – cocaine for sale or supply, obstruction and dangerous drive.
Mr Justice Clarke said that in O’Driscoll’s attempt to reverse away at speed from gardaí he crashed into a tree. White powder was thrown out the window of the car.
Mr Justice Clarke said, “€2,716 worth of cocaine was found in the car. Evidence suggested more was present before it was thrown out the window.”
The judge noted a number of serious previous convictions on O’Driscoll’s record, including endangerment and a firearms offence.
Mr Justice Clarke also referred to the accused failing significantly to engage with the probation officer in his case.
The judge did not feel there was any breach of legal principles in the imposition of the five-year jail term and dismissed the appeal.