Cork man who fled from gardaí executing search warrant given community service instead of jail time

Cork man who fled from gardaí executing search warrant given community service instead of jail time

Gardaí were on their way to his home with a warrant to conduct a search. The warrant had been issued on the basis of confidential information of drug-related activity at his address. Picture: iStock

A man about to walk his dog on Albert Road in Cork was approached by gardaí executing a search warrant but he fled and discarded a bag of cocaine as he ran.

Robert Drought of Marine Villas, Albert Road, Cork, was caught soon afterwards and now he has been ordered to do community service instead of going to jail for obstructing the search.

Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background to the incident which occurred on December 7 2019.

Gardaí were on their way to his home with a warrant to conduct a search. The warrant had been issued on the basis of confidential information of drug-related activity at his address. As they approached they met Robert Drought on the street and identified themselves.

“As soon as they did he fled the scene and gardaí pursued him on foot.

“He discarded a bag on his way. Gardaí retrieved the bag. When he was apprehended he made a cautioned memo and admitted having the cocaine and cannabis for his own use and he admitted discarding the cocaine when he ran from the gardaí,” Sgt. Kelleher said.

Robert Drought had four previous convictions for having drugs for his own use.

“To be fair to the man, the most recent dates back to 2010,” Sgt. Kelleher said.

Frank Buttimer said, “The guards arrived on the scene as he was about to go and walk the dog. He jettisoned one item and that was of course retrieved as it was seen.

“The guards accepted that this could only be a personal use situation, regardless of the information that they had. There was extraneous evidence (to suggest drug supply). He cooperated with the investigation and has been out of trouble for a long time.” 

Mr Buttimer said the accused was in employment and in generally good circumstances.

For obstructing the drugs search, Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a four-month suspended sentence on Drought and ordered him to do 100 hours of community service for having the cocaine for his own use. Fines totalling €950 were also imposed on him for having cocaine and cannabis for his own use.

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