Joshua Allen’s drug treatment is continuing apace, his lawyer said yesterday as the son of celebrity chef Rachel Allen confirmed his signed guilty plea to having cannabis for sale or supply at the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Joshua Allen, 19, from Ballinamona, Shanagarry, County Cork, appeared at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today accompanied by his solicitor Don Ryan and represented in court by senior counsel Siobhán Lankford.
Ms Lankford said it had come to her attention that there was duplication in the six charges to which the teenager previously entered signed pleas of guilty and she said that it would be preferable for the accused to confirm his signed pleas of guilty to only three of the original charges.
There was some confusion over which charges were to be confirmed in this way. After a number of attempts to clarify the issue the young man confirmed his plea of guilty to the following charges:
Possession for sale or supply of cannabis at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry on August 30, 2018, at a time when its street value exceeded €13,000 contrary to Section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act – a charge which carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 years unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Possession of cocaine for his own use at the same location and date contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Possession of cannabis for his own use on September 5, 2018 at Ballinamona, Shanagarry, County Cork, contrary to the same act.
For the avoidance of doubt Ms Lankford said this course of action was merely a technical matter.
“Effectively, the charges, to which he is pleading guilty, encompass the other charges. He accepts full responsibility on all of these matters.
“I would ask for a probation report. He is a young man who was not in trouble previously. I would ask for sentencing to go back to enable him to continue with drug treatment. He is attending for treatment. That is continuing apace,” Ms Lankford said.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan remanded the accused on continuing bail until November 8 for sentencing.
Judge O’Callaghan said in relation to the request for a probation report on the accused that the onus was on the defendant to make contact with the probation service for that purpose and to engage with them.
The judge also said that if the accused had evidence of drug non-use in the form of urinalysis then documents supporting this should be supplied by the defence to the prosecution at least four days before the sentencing hearing in November.
Joshua Allen wore a white shirt and navy suit for today’s hearing and was not required to address the court other than to confirm his pleas of guilty to three counts on the indictment.
His previously set bail on his own bond of €500 require him to sign on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Midleton Garda Station between 7 a.m. and 10 pm. He is to reside at his home address at Ballinamona, Shanagarry and had to surrender his passport and undertake not to apply for any new travel documents.
When Inspector Sean McCarthy, formerly of the Cork City Divisional Drugs Squad, gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution on the first occasion at Midleton District Court he said the defendant made no reply to any of the charges.