Cocaine found on driver after garda chase

A DRIVER who drove dangerously, refused a breath sample and was found to be in possession of cocaine was banned from driving for four years and fined €700 at Kilkenny court.

A DRIVER who drove dangerously, refused a breath sample and was found to be in possession of cocaine was banned from driving for four years and fined €700 at Kilkenny court.

Stephen Byrne, Fanningstown, Piltown refuted the allegations of dangerous driving, refusing to provide a breath sample and being in possession of cocaine for his own use on May 17.

Garda James Leech told the court that at approximately 3am on the morning in question he was driving a patrol car on Bennettsbridge Road. “I was at the Scout’s Den when I observed a silver BMW coming towards me at some speed and close to the white line. I turned to follow the vehicle and I observed that it sped up. As it turned onto Nunico Road it increased speed. I turned on the lights and the siren and the car turned left onto the Waterford Road and nearly lost control. It almost lost control at the Bohernatounish Roundabout (the roundabout close to Lidl and now known as the Nuncio Road Roundabout) and went onto the Waterford Road Roundabout and onto the Waterford Road. At the Springhill Hotel it got stuck behind a car and turned in left and I pulled out in front of him forcing him to stop.

“The defendant became aggressive when I asked him to step out of the car. He resisted and I was forced to handcuff him. I got the smell of alcohol off him and his eyes were glassy. I arrested him and brought him to Kilkenny Garda Station, where he initally gave a false address,” said the garda.

Garda Leech told the court that he carried out a search on the defendant, who became aggressive. “I saw him take out a package that he put down the back of his shirt. I saw that it was white powder and suspected that it was cocaine. It was subsequently analysed and found to be cocaine,” he added.

Judge John Lindsay imposed a four-year disqualification order which he postponed the commencement of to June 1. He also convicted him of dangerous driving at the Waterford Road Roundabout and of possession of cocaine for personal use and fined him a total of €700.