A Portlaoise man caught with a stanley knife in his pocket after running away from a garda drug search has been given a six-month sentence.
David Condon, Mountain View Square, Portlaoise, was charged with the possession of a knife, drug possession, obstruction under the drugs act, and threatening or abusive behaviour, at Knockmay, Portlaoise, on August 5 last.
Garda Detective Michael O’Donovan gave evidence that on the night of August 15 this year, he was on mobile patrol and saw the accused with two other males acting suspiciously at Mountain View.
Upon exiting the patrol car, Det O’Donovan got a strong smell of cannabis and told the men he was going to search them.
When informed of the search, Condon and one of the other men fled the scene. Det O’Donovan told them to stop, but Condon shouted back “F**k you, you p***k.”
Det O’Donovan said when he caught the accused and searched him, he found cannabis and a stanley knife.
Det O’Donovan said that when he found the knife in the accused’s pocket, Condon laughed, and when he found the cannabis, the accused became highly abusive.
“He said, ‘It’s not a knife’,” said Det O’Donovan.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen put it to the detective that what had happened was the accused saw someone coming from a car in the dark and so he ran.
Det O’Donovan refuted this, repeating that when he exited the car he informed the men that they would be searched.
Mr Breen also said that his client claimed there had been a knife casing in his pocket, but no blade in it.
Det O’Donovan gave evidence that the blade was in the knife casing.
Garda Detective Conor Murphy also gave evidence. He said that he heard the accused call Det O’Donovan “a p***k”, and he rejected Mr Breen’s claim that Condon had been “spooked” on the night as he didn’t recognise the gardaí.
“He would have good knowledge of all plainclothes detectives in the area,” said Det Murphy.
Judge Catherine Staines ruled that she accepted the evidence of the State and convicted Condon.
Judge Staines told the accused that Det O’Donovan was just doing his job and he did not deserve that kind of abuse.
The judge imposed six months in prison, with the last two two months suspended on condition the accused remain under probation supervision.
Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.