By Liam Heylin
A young man who accidentally dropped a suspected drug at his place of work only for his employer to pick it up and put it in his office, later tried to break into the office to retrieve it.
Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background to the unusual case at Cork District Court.
Sgt Kelleher said it was alleged that the manager at the defendant’s workplace saw a suspected drug fall from employee, Ryan Buckley’s pocket. The manager responded by putting the item into his office and sending the employee home.
“It was further alleged that the defendant was seen on CCTV later that day trying to force his way into the manager’s office and causing damage to the door frame in the process,” Sgt Kelleher said.
Sgt Kelleher added that when interviewed, Buckley, of Ballygrogan, Grenagh, Co Cork, admitted causing damage to the wall, door frame and door. The sergeant said the young man no longer worked at the company which is based at Little Island, Co Cork.
Joseph Cuddigan, defence solicitor, “It is a most unusual case. His intent in gaining access to the office was an attempt to retrieve what was taken from him.
“He had been working there for four years and his employment was terminated on that day.
“It is debatable whether a civilian is entitled to seize suspected drugs.”
However, the defence solicitor said that no argument was being put up by the defence in this respect and that the accused man was pleading guilty to causing the criminal damage and a related trespass charge.
“It was a case of taking this extreme action of trying to retrieve this item. It is far removed from the typical case of breaking and entering,” Mr Cuddigan said.
Sgt Kelleher said the total damage caused to the door, frame and wall amounted to €964.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he would put the case back for penalty on September 7 for Buckley to pay the compensation to his former employer.