Man touched drugs stash while looking for rat

A five-year jail term was imposed yesterday on a man who told gardaí that if his fingerprint was on a drugs stash in his car, it was only because he had been looking for a rat running around inside his car.

Mark Bourke, aged 49, told gardaí he may have touched a stash of drugs leaving his fingerprint on it.

Bourke told gardaí who stopped him at Kilmurry, Co Cork, on December 5, 2014, and found €40,000 worth of ecstasy tablets in his car, that he knew nothing about the drugs. He later admitted the crime.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said yesterday: “I am not going to regard his commentary to guards on the day as aggravating.”

Mahon Corkery, defending, said: “Without minimising the offence, courts frequently deal with much more significant values of drugs.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “His plea of guilty and the fact that he has no previous drug convictions are in his favour and allow me to depart from the 10-year minimum sentence.

“The aggravating factor is that he has no addiction and was doing this for profit, the amount of profit I do not know. It is unusual for a man this age to come before the court on drugs charges.”

The judge imposed five years with no portion of it suspended.


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