Lochside Garage

Mother ‘tried to hide her cannabis use from teenager’

Enniskillen Magistrates Court

A DERRYLIN mother who smoked cannabis in her car so her teenage daughter wouldn’t find out has been fined after police noticed a strong smell of the drug coming from the vehicle.
Catherine Dowling (36) of Main Street, Derrylin pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday.
On July 29 last year police on patrol on Main Street Derrylin encountered a black Ford Focus they were aware was wanted by Gardai in Dublin. The officers turned to follow the car, but couldn’t find it.
Later that night police again saw the same car. The car stopped when indicated by police to do so, and the officers spoke to the driver, Dowling.
Having noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car, Dowling was arrested and brought to Enniskillen Police Station. Officers who were transporting the car Dowling had been driving to the station continued to notice the smell of cannabis, and carried out a search of the car.
They found £170 worth of the drug wrapped in brown paper in a lunch box in the car, along with other lunch boxes which also smelled of cannabis.
In interview Dowling said she would smoke cannabis in her car, when she had it, so that her 18-year-old daughter wouldn’t find out. She also told the officers she had found the drug while out walking on Doon Mountain earlier that day.
Defence solicitor Clive Neville told the court Dowling, who had no previous convictions, had suffered the loss of seven family members in the past three years, which he said “would take a toll on most people. He added she was attending bereavement classes to cope with her loss.
Mr Neville asked for credit to be given to Dowling for her clear record and early plea, and pointed out police accepted the cannabis had been for her own personal use.
District Judge Bonita Boyd fined Dowling £150 and issued a destruction order for the drugs.

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