Man gets another chance

Harry Clifton

A man who had most of his two-year jail term suspended following a teenager’s death at an orgy of drink and drugs was given another chance to co-operate with the Probation Service after evidence that he was continuing to take drugs and was not co-operating.

Judge Gerard O’Brien imposed a two-year sentence, with 18 months suspended, on Harry Clifton a year ago for his part in the supply of the synthetic drug N-bomb. Alex Ryan, 18, of Liscahane, Millstreet, Co Cork, died on January 23, 2016, after taking the drug.

The case was re-entered by the Probation Service at Cork Circuit Criminal last week because of Clifton’s failure to show up for appointments and his continued use of cannabis.

Judge O’Brien yesterday adjourned the case again to February 7, 2018.

“I am very concerned,” he said. “The court gave him a chance. I am anxious there won’t be a casualty in the sale or supply of drugs. I will accede to the application and return the case to February 7.”

The judge said he was very concerned with the passivity of Clifton and said there was a responsibility on him to engage with the services.

Mary Walsh, the probation officer, said last week that Clifton was required to obey the directions of the Probation Service on his release from prison with 18 months more hanging over him. He was to abstain from drugs and alcohol as well.

Ms Walsh said Clifton, by his own admission, continued to use cannabis and stopped attending at the service in May. He had been contacted four times since then to no avail. Ms Walsh said Clifton said he was suffering depression and not answering his phone much.

The judge said last week: “He is a young person with a full life ahead of him, unlike Mr Ryan.”


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