Bringing cocaine to a Westlife concert in Cork has just cost a 33-year-old fan €850.
That was the amount of the fine Judge Olann Kelleher imposed on Jason Hurley of 59 Fair Hill Drive, Upper Fair Hill, Cork, for his first ever drug offence.
The defendant pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to a charge of having the drug in his possession for his own use.
Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background that gave rise to Jason Hurley being prosecuted.
Garda Graham McGuinness was on duty at the Westlife concert taking place at Pairc Uí Chaoimh on August 13 2022.
The defendant was stopped by security at the venue who reported the matter to Garda McGuinness who then seized the small quantity of white powder from the Westlife fan.
Sgt. Kelleher said the defendant had four previous convictions for counts of being drunk and threatening in the past, under the Public Order Act, but none for drugs.
Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the accused was keen to avoid a conviction for having drugs for his own use.
“I would ask you to leave him without his first drugs conviction,” Mr Burke said.
However, Judge Olann Kelleher refused this application and said that the drug in question was too serious. He said that as a Class A proscribed drug, it carried a possible penalty of up to 12 months in prison, even for someone with no previous convictions.
The judge said he would not be imposing a custodial sentence but that there had to be a conviction and fine of €850 in all the circumstances, including previous convictions under the Public Order Act.