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Ex-Ireland star Anthony Stokes to appear in court on drug dealing charge

News of Stokes’ upcoming court appearance comes just hours after he was arrested again.

Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

Former Ireland footballer Anthony Stokes is to appear before Dublin District Court on Friday to face a charge of possession of drugs for the purposes of sale and supply.

The ex-Premier League player is also set to face a number of counts of dangerous driving and a second charge of possession of drugs – arising from an incident where he was pursued by gardai, between Crumlin and Chapelizod in Dublin, on January 6th.

It will be alleged that during the pursuit Stokes drove dangerously and sped through traffic lights.

After the pursuit ended, a quantity of white powder believed to be cocaine with an estimated value of €4,000, was recovered from the glove-box of the vehicle.

News of Stokes’ upcoming court appearance comes just hours after he was arrested again, following another alleged pursuit, in the early hours of Tuesday, January 31.

The Dubliner’s latest arrest occurred at around 3am.

It followed reports of a Volkswagen Golf R failing to stop for gardaí at the M50 southbound near Cabinteely and gardaí subsequently gave chase.

After a pursuit, which lasted around 20 minutes, the vehicle was found abandoned in a housing estate near Loughlinstown.

Gardaí searched the area and Anthony Stokes was arrested a short distance away.

Anthony Stokes

He was brought to Dundrum Garda Station in relation to road traffic offences and was questioned on suspicion of dangerous driving.

The 34-year-old, who spent several seasons playing for Celtic, has since been charged as part of the investigation.

In a statement a garda spokesperson said: "Gardaí have arrested and charged a man in his 30s following an incident of dangerous driving in the Cabinteely area of Dublin.

"He is due to appear before Dun Laoghaire District court at a later date."

In an unconnected case, Stokes is wanted by police in Scotland on foot of an arrest warrant issued last September in relation to an ongoing sentencing hearing he failed to attend.

The warrant was issued after he failed to show up in Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Stokes – who was capped nine times by the Republic of Ireland – was banned from contacting his former partner and her mother for four years in September 2019 and was handed four-year non-harassment orders after he admitted stalking.

At the time, sentencing was deferred for Stokes to be of good behaviour.

But the footballer later admitted breaching the non-harassment orders by repeatedly sending emails and texts to his former girlfriend and repeatedly calling her mother in November and December 2019.

Ex-Irish footballer Anthony Stokes charged with driving offence after drugs found in car

Former Ireland star Anthony Stokes arrested for second time after alleged garda chase

He also admitted causing his ex-partner fear or alarm by repeatedly sending her messages between November 16th and December 3, 2019 in which he did “swear and utter offensive remarks”, and by repeatedly telephoning her parents to “utter inappropriate and offensive remarks” about her.

Following his failure to appear in court for sentencing, Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen ordered a warrant for his arrest.

Separately, in January of last year, Stokes had his prosecution for headbutting a man in Dublin’s Temple Bar struck out due to the absence of a key witness.

He was accused of assault causing harm to Fraser Spratt at Fitzgerald’s pub on Aston Quay, Dublin 2, on March 16, 2019, which he denied.

The charge was under section three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Stokes claimed he acted in self-defence.

On the night in question, he had been at the bar with his girlfriend.

His solicitor told the court his client “says he acted at all times in self-defence, proportionately”.

A lengthy adjournment was required for the hearing at Dublin District Court because the alleged injured party lived in the UK, the proceedings heard in 2020.

It was the second time Stokes had been before the courts in relation to headbutting someone in a bar.

In 2017, Stokes received a two-year suspended sentence for head-butting Elvis impersonator Anthony Bradley, 53, at Buck Whaley’s on Leeson Street, Dublin, on June 8, 2013.

Mr Bradley also took a separate successful civil action in the High Court against Stokes, saying that he effectively gave up his career as an Elvis impersonator after the former Ireland striker head-butted him, leaving him with a broken nose and damaged teeth.

But he never received the €230,000 awarded to him against Stokes at the conclusion of the case.

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