European gold medal-winning boxer Gabriel Dossen was caught red-handed with more than €1,000 worth of cannabis, Galway District Court heard last week.
The 22-year-old amateur boxer was also found in possession of €645 in cash, which he gave to Garda Dave O’Connell when he told him he was going to get him for drugs.
Dossen pleaded guilty to possession of €1,072 worth of cannabis and a second charge of selling or supplying it to others in Cartur Mór, Knocknacarra on March 7 last year.
The business studies student, residing at 116 Cartur Mór, also pleaded guilty to having in his possession €20 worth of herbal cannabis when he was stopped and searched on July 31 last year in Fr Griffin Road.
Sergeant Damien Prendergast, prosecuting, told the court that Garda O’Connell was on patrol in the Cartur Mór area on March 7 last year when he observed a man acting suspiciously in the back of a taxi. He stopped the car and spoke to the passenger who became agitated. Garda O’Connell told Dossen he was going to search him and Dossen then handed over two plastic bags containing cannabis to the garda along with €645 in cash.
“He told the guard that he [the cannabis] was his and he was going to share it among his friends,” Sgt Prendergast said.
Five months later, Garda Brian Loughlin stopped Dossen in Fr Griffin Road, smelling a strong odor of cannabis emanating from him. Dossen handed over €20 worth of herbal cannabis to Garda Loughlin during a drug search.
Sgt Prendergast confirmed that Dossen had six previous convictions, the most recent being that of Athlone on March 2 when he was fined €200 for drug possession, while a second charge possession has been taken into account.
Dossen, he said, was convicted in Galway District Court on February 7 of drug possession and given a 150-hour community service order instead of a five-month sentence. jail for a drug trafficking offense on the same date. The possession charge was considered, he added.
“Apart from taking drugs, does he do anything else, Mr. Martin?” Judge Mary Fahy asked Dossen’s attorney, John Martin.
“He’s a pretty talented athlete. He won a gold medal at the European Boxing Championships, which was publicized at the time,” Martin replied.
Delivering a letter from Dossen’s boxing trainer to the court, the attorney said all of the offenses dated back 18 to 12 months.
“It seems to have been a very big blow, but something he got caught up in. But since then he’s started to get his life back on track, trained hard and achieved great things in boxing,” the attorney said. in attenuation.
“He got involved in drugs and now he realizes his mistake and has always raised his hand.
“I told him there were flaws in the prosecution evidence (meaning it could have been challenged), but he wanted to plead guilty to all the cases from the start,” Mr Martin said.
He said Dossen took the Prime for Life course “on his own accord” and got clean toxicology results.
In response to Judge Fahy, he said Dossen had completed 80 to 90 hours of the community service order, adding that his client was taking a Level 8 business course in college.
“He is also on track to compete in the Paris Olympics and is on his way to a career as a professional boxer,” Martin added.
He said the charges in court were recorded on the front page of a Sunday newspaper. “It forces him to deal with this embarrassment. He will certainly not be seen here again,” he said.
Judge Mary Fahy said it was disappointing.
Mr Martin agreed it was disappointing, adding that his client had such a promise.
“But it’s disappointing that at this level of professional sport he thinks everything is fine,” the lawyer said.
Judge Fahy asked if friends were to blame.
Mr Martin said there had certainly been a bad influence, but his client had moved on.
Judge Fahy said Dossen had already reached the threshold of a prison sentence after having already obtained a community service order for a previous charge of drug trafficking.
Imposing a six-month sentence which she suspended for two years on the drug trafficking charge, provided Dossen behaved well and did not reoffend during that time, the judge said that while the value of the drugs was not important, it was still a serious problem. offense.
She ordered the destruction of the cannabis and the confiscation of the money to the state, pending any appeal.
She considered the accompanying drug possession charge and fined Dossen €100 for being found in possession of the herbal cannabis in Fr Griffin Road. Permission to appeal the convictions was granted as well as free legal aid.