Man rebuked for submitting letters from young children to court

Man rebuked for submitting letters from young children to court

An accused man who submitted letters from his young children to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to prove his character has been strongly rebuked by a judge.

Judge Karen O’Connor said she was “shocked” to find handwritten letters from two of Declan Garnett’s children among employment testimonials and letters from his family.

She said it was “very ill-advised” for young children to be putting pen to paper in this way and added that those letters “hold no sway” with her.

Judge O’Connor also said she wanted to send a message to all legal practitioners “loudly and clearly” that she never wanted to receive a letter from a child in court proceedings like this again.

Mr Garnett, 46, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing 198 grammes of cocaine worth €13,923 at his home on 6 December 2016. He has no previous convictions.

The court heard that he told gardai he found the drugs in a shopping bag, brought them home and hid them in his wife’s jacket. He said he’d had them for up to three days and didn’t know what to do with them.

Paul Comiskey O’Keeffe BL, defending, asked the judge not to impose a custodial sentence but to consider the crime an error of judgement and a one-off offence.

Judge O’Connor adjourned the matter to 26 January.

Aoife Nic Ardghail, CCC.nuacht

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