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tee-d up Talented golfer 'forced to hold cocaine after he built up debt'


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A TALENTED young golfer who was dabbling in drugs "was forced to hold more than €2,800 worth of cocaine after he built up a drug debt", a court heard.

Jake Maher (22) was asked to leave his home for a few months by his mother after the cocaine was found, as she was very upset at his behaviour.

The raid on her home came as a "massive shock" to her, and a court heard that gardaí were "very kind" to her.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the matter to a date in March and said he would strike out the charges if Mr Maher completed the restorative justice programme.

The defendant admitted to possession of cocaine and cannabis as well as having the cocaine for sale or supply on April 7, 2020.

Garda Emma Gilmore told Blanchardstown District Court that she obtained a warrant and searched the defendant's home at Littlepace Drive in Clonee.

A quantity of cocaine, with a street value of €2,879, as well as cannabis, worth €20, was found.

Gda Gilmore said Mr Maher co-operated fully with gardaí, and made admissions at the scene.

The court heard Mr Maher had never been in trouble before.

His defence said that this was a familiar story to the courts.

The defendant was dabbling in drugs and using them recreationally. He built up a small debt and he was asked to hold the cocaine by "someone involved much higher up the chain".

Mr Fleming said the defendant, a trainee plumber, was the eldest of four boys and his father died in 2012.

The search had come as "a massive shock" to Mr Maher's mother, who was very upset at what had happened.

The solicitor said that Mr Maher was a very talented athlete, and had attended high school in North Carolina in USA on a golf scholarship.

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He was a member of his local golf club and was a member of a boxing club.

This incident was "a shock to the system" and Mr Maher had moved out of the family home and lived with his grandparents for two months while he sorted himself out.

Mr Fleming asked the judge to be lenient, saying Mr Maher had written a letter of apology to the court.

The defendant was also ashamed of what he had put his mother through.

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