Jail for Cork man who claimed he was hunting when found near concealed drugs in ditch 

The judge said the jury did not believe the man was hunting but was going to recover ten kilos of cannabis on a country lane.
Jail for Cork man who claimed he was hunting when found near concealed drugs in ditch 

A Cork man who claimed he was rabbit-dazzling was jailed for eight years. 

A Cork man who claimed he was rabbit-dazzling was jailed for eight years as the judge said the jury did not believe the man was hunting but was going to recover ten kilos of cannabis on a country lane.

Karl Humphries was sentenced to ten years with the last two years suspended by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Humphries said he always kept dogs and had been going hunting all his life and this included ‘dazzling’ or ‘lamping’ rabbits in fields. 

He claimed he was checking the suitability of a field for dazzling when Detective Garda Michael O’Halloran emerged from his concealed position in a drug surveillance operation and arrested him.

Judge rejects claims 

The judge said, “He was assessing evidence of ground for lamping, that he was going to go home and collect Fido – it was completely unbelievable.

“This man came from Bishopstown and located this stash of ten kilos indicating he was part of this group and a valuable part of the group given that he had knowledge of where the drugs were. I don’t think he was at courier or driver level. He was fully engaged in the transport and supply of drugs on that date.

“He knew what he was facing and he took off to Australia. He indicates he more or less had the guard’s knowledge or permission to go – this is stoutly rejected by the guard.” 

Man left country after questioning 

The case related to July 29 2012 at Ardnageehy East, Watergrasshill, County Cork. Humphries of Curraheen Drive, Bishopstown, Cork, left Cork after he was questioned and before he was charged and went to Australia. He was arrested and charged recently in Cork and denied all charges against him.

Det. Garda O’Halloran gave evidence in the trial that he got into a concealed position to observe the area of a ditch on a quiet lane in Watergrasshill where drugs squad officers had previously located €58,000 worth of cannabis. They returned the black bag of drugs to the concealed position under an old tyre and kept it under surveillance.

Det. Garda O’Halloran said a green Renault Clio arrived and the passenger – Karl Humphries – got out.

“He (the defendant) started what appeared to be a search of this area. He got over the gate. He searched these tyres.

“I grabbed him. I had him by the arm. He had a black bag in his possession. He dropped it at his feet. I called for assistance on the radio. 

"He froze. He was in shock – shaking,” the detective testified.

Interviewed later by gardaí, one of the detectives put it to him – in the memo put before the jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court – 

“You were going rabbit-lamping and just by coincidence there was a bag with ten kilos of cannabis in the ditch where you were trying to get in.” 

Humphries told gardaí that this was the case and he denied being involved in the drugs trade at any level at all. 

“All I care about is soccer, keep fit and hunting,” he said when first interviewed in the case.

Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan called the accused to give evidence in his trial. 

Humphries said, “My business there was picking out the fields for hunting.” 

Mr O’Sullivan BL asked, “Were you ever there before?” 

Humphries replied, “No, but I would like to go back again for a bit of hunting.” 

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more