A man found with white powder around his nostrils after coming out of a Cork shopping centre toilet has got a suspended jail term for having cocaine and now he plans to study to be a drugs counsellor.
The drugs were detected at Blackpool Shopping Centre on November 8, 2019.
Denis Foley, 38, of 49 Old Commons Road, Blackpool, Cork, pleaded guilty to that offence.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said at Cork District Court that Garda Eugene Fitzgibbon was present in the shopping centre when he observed the accused with this sign of recent drug use. Garda Fitzgibbon carried out a search and found that the accused had €15 worth of cocaine in his possession.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, stressed that the offence dated back almost three years and that since that time he had turned his life around.
Before that submission was made, the judge was told that Foley had seven previous convictions for drug possession, and the judge asked if Denis Foley had any convictions for assault.
Sgt Davis said there was no such conviction. The judge said this was important as the use of cocaine could give rise to violence.
Mr Buttimer said the accused had turned his life around quite considerably. He said Foley was now looking at the possibility of training to help others with addiction.
Foley told the judge: “I think it is my calling, your honour.”
Judge Roberts said that very often people suffering from addiction wanted to hear from someone who has lived through the same experience themselves.
The judge imposed a suspended two-month jail term on the cocaine possession charge. He also wished the accused all the best with his plan to assist others with addiction.