Man blames fleeing rat for fingerprint on drugs stash

A man looking for a rat running around inside his car told gardaí he may have inadvertently touched a stash of drugs leaving his fingerprint on it.

Mark Bourke told gardaí who stopped him at Kilmurry, Co Cork, and found €40,000 worth of ecstasy tablets in his car, that he knew nothing about the drugs.

Det Sgt Lar O’Brien said gardaí interviewed him on four occasions. Burke totally denied having anything to do with the drugs or even knowing they were there.

He said if his fingerprint was on the stash it was only because he saw a rat in the car and went looking for it and may have inadvertently touched the packet of drugs.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin wondered about Bourke’s problem with rats. The judge asked if the problem arose out of being stopped by the guards. Det Sgt O’Brien agreed with the judge’s suggestion and said: “I am not sure what kind of rat he was talking about.”

While Bourke, aged 49, denied anything to do with the drugs when questioned he later pleaded guilty to having €40,000 worth of ecstasy for sale or supply .

Mark Bourke admitted at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that he had the drugs at Kilmurry North, Berrings, Co Cork, on December 5, 2014.

Defence barrister, Mahon Corkery, said the accused wanted a witness to come to court to give character evidence for him ahead of sentencing. The judge adjourned sentencing until May 23 for that purpose.


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