THE garda file relating to a County Limerick man who is charged in connection with a substantial drugs seizure must be reviewed at a higher level within the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) due to the complex nature of the case, a court has been told.
Patrick Scanlon, aged 52, who is originally from Loughill but who has an address in the UK is charged with possession of cannabis for the purpose of sale or supply at Churchview, Pallaskenry on August 8.
It is alleged the drugs, which were worth around €96,000, were recovered after gardai and customs officials intercepted a package which had been posted to the address.
At Limerick Court, Sergeant Donal Cronin said the matter was receiving the “full attention” of investigating gardai and that the file in the case has been forwarded to the office of the DPP.
“A law officer has reviewed the file but it has since been passed on to a higher level for more careful and thorough consideration” he said explaining the delay.
Objecting to an application for an adjournment, solicitor John Devane said his client has been “languishing in prison without knowing the status of his case” since August 10 when he first appeared in court.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly heard that the file was “large and complex” and that the DPP needs more time to consider its contents.
“It is necessary to have this file further reviewed, but there is no suggestion that this matter is being put on the back burner and in fact this case is receiving the full attention of An Garda Siochana and it is being progressed promptly,” he said.
Sgt Cronin added that the additional review and time for consideration of the contents of the file would “in theory go to the benefit of the defendant in the end and allow the matter to advance along the correct track”.
Mr Devane said the court had previously indicated that it would hear a new bail application if directions were not available.
However, Judge O’Kelly noted that the earliest date he could legally hear a new bail application would be on Stephen’s Day.
“Obviously, the court is not in a position to hear any new application on that date so I will hear that in January”, he said.
Sgt Cronin reassured the court that although the particulars of the case were “quite difficult and challenging”, the matter was advancing.
He also confirmed that external police forces and other agencies were involved and that the case has a certain “international dimension to it”.
The matter was adjourned to December 17, next when Mr Scanlon is due to appear before the court via video link.