Case dismissed for man who fled from a garda

By Brendan Grehan

A CLONDALKIN man (21), who allegedly jumped over a fence fleeing from a garda who wanted to search him for drugs, had his case dismissed in Blanchardstown District Court.

Judge David McHugh heard that no drugs had been found in Scott Purdue’s possession.

blanchardstown courthouse

Blanchardstown District Court

Purdue, with an address at Shancastle Drive, Clondalkin, pleaded not guilty to obstructing a garda from carrying out a drugs search at Shancastle Park in Clondalkin on March 24, 2019.

Garda Derek McGuinness told Judge McHugh that he had been on patrol in Shancastle Park at 5.23pm on the above date.

He said Shancastle Park was an area known for drug-dealing. Garda McGuinness said he saw Purdue in the company of other males whom he suspected were involved in the dealing of drugs.

He said he asked Purdue if he could search him under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Garda McGuinness added: “I was aware [Purdue] had a drug habit.”

Purdue’s solicitor, John Shanley, objected to this question.

Garda McGuinness said Purdue objected to being searched and told him that he didn’t want to be searched.

Garda McGuinness added: “He [Purdue] kept on walking away. I suspected that he was in possession of drugs.”

He said Purdue ran away and jumped over a fence and then went into a house in Shancastle Park where Purdue was later arrested for obstructing a drugs search.

Garda McGuinness said he conveyed Purdue to Lucan garda station where he was later charged.

Under cross-examination from Mr Shanley, Garda McGuinness said: “He [Purdue] refused to let me search him.”

He told Mr Shanley: “The area is known for drug-dealing”.

Garda McGuinness added: “He [Purdue] was in the company of two other males who have previous convictions for drug use.”

In response to Mr Shanley, Garda McGuinness said no drugs were found in Purdue’s possession.

Mr Shanley asked Judge McHugh for a direction on the grounds that Garda McGuinness had not told his client that he had a suspicion that he was in possession of drugs.

Judge McHugh asked Garda McGuinness for his response.

Garda McGuinness said he knew that Purdue “had a drug habit”.

Judge McHugh went with Mr Shanley’s direction and dismissed the case on the grounds that a garda must have an “active suspicion” that an individual is in possession of drugs before searching them.

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