Joshua Allen, the son of famed TV chef Rachel Allen, will learn next month if a suspended sentence for cannabis possession will be activated.
The 22-year-old – a great-grandson of Ballymaloe founder, the late Myrtle Allen, and a grandson of TV chef Darina Allen – was sentenced by Cork Circuit Court three years ago to a 15-month prison sentence with 15 months probation and pleaded guilty in September Possessing more than €22,000 worth of cannabis for sale and delivery in 2018.
However, he was convicted last year in Midleton District Court in a separate and independent matter of possession of €280 worth of cocaine on July 20, 2020.
At his sentencing last September, Judge Alec Gabbett noted that the cocaine affair came just five weeks after the young man was released from custody on previous charges of cannabis possession.
Judge Gabbett sentenced him to two months’ imprisonment for cocaine possession.
Midleton District Court heard a garda spotted Allen throwing an object into a bush when officers attended an outdoor gathering of youths in July 2020 – and the cocaine was in the exact spot involved.
The issue of activating Allen’s suspended sentence based on the Midleton District Court conviction was heard in Cork Circuit Criminal Court earlier this year.
The young man appealed his conviction in Midleton District Court last March – but goes ahead with a challenge to the severity of the sentence handed down.
Judge Helen Boyle is now expected to deal with both the suspended sentence for cannabis possession and a challenge to the severity of the cocaine possession sentence in the same hearing during the Cork Circuit Criminal Court session.
Allen had pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawfully possessing a controlled drug, namely cocaine, worth €280 on 10th July 2020 at Pontoon, Midleton, Co Cork, in violation of the Misuse of Drugs Act .
Last September, Judge Gabbett sentenced Allen to two months in prison after finding him guilty of the misdemeanor after a day-long hearing.
Judge Gabbett found that Allen had been released from Cork Prison in May 2020 in connection with a previous cannabis offense and the cocaine possession case arose “within five weeks”.
The Midleton District Court’s conviction constitutes a so-called “triggering offense” relating to an outstanding suspended sentence in the prior cannabis matter.
The court will now decide on a 15-month suspended sentence Allen faced from a previous and separate conviction on cannabis charges in 2019.
He was arrested almost four years ago after customs officials at the Portlaoise Mail Center became suspicious about a package addressed to Joshua Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and being shipped from the United States.
This sentence came after he served a three-month sentence at an inpatient treatment center for drug use in 2019.
He received the 15-month sentence after the court was told he was “naive” and “amateur”. The young man was warned that he initially approached the case with “stupidity”.
Allen vehemently denied cocaine possession charges in Midleton last year.
The young man is now involved in mixed martial arts (MMA) and helps raise funds for a number of local charities.
As evidence for the court, he denied throwing anything in the bushes that night when Gardaí approached a group of youths after a noise nuisance.
“With all due respect, you’re making a mistake. It’s a big mistake,” he said.
“This affects me and my family very much. It is impossible [that I dropped anything].
“If I wanted to get rid of drugs, I probably would have put them down my pants.”
He insisted it was simply his “first instinct” to move away from the gardaí when they arrived at the scene in Midleton.
Allen had insisted that any drugs Gardaí found in Midleton that night did not belong to him.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/joshua-allen-to-find-out-next-month-if-cannabis-possession-sentence-will-be-reactivated-over-cocaine-find-41671927.html Joshua Allen is due to find out next month if the cannabis possession conviction over cocaine finds will be reinstated