Joshua Allen, the son of celebrity TV chef Rachel Allen, will find out next month if a suspended prison sentence handed down for cannabis possession will be activated.
He, 22 – who is a great-grandson of Ballymaloe founder, the late Myrtle Allen, and a grandson of TV chef Darina Allen – received a 15-month custodial sentence with 15 months with suspended in Cork Circuit Court three years ago after he pleaded guilty to possession of more than €22,000 worth of cannabis for sale and supply in September 2018.
However, he was convicted last year in Midleton District Court, in a separate and unrelated case, of possession of €280 worth of cocaine on July 20, 2020.
Sentencing him last September, Judge Alec Gabbett noted that the cocaine case arose just five weeks after the young man was released for possession of cannabis.
Judge Gabbett imposed a two-month prison sentence for possession of cocaine.
Midleton District Court heard a Garda spotted Allen throwing an object into a bush when officers attended an outdoor youth gathering in July 2020 – and the cocaine was traced to the precise location involved.
The issue of Allen’s suspended sentence being activated, due to the Midleton District Court conviction, was brought before Cork Circuit Criminal Court earlier this year.
The youngster dropped an appeal against his conviction in Midleton District Court last March – but goes on to challenge the severity of the sentence given.
Judge Helen Boyle is now expected to address both the issue of the suspended sentence for possession of cannabis and the challenge to the severity of the sentence for possession of cocaine at the same hearing in the June session of the criminal court. of the Cork circuit.
Allen had pleaded not guilty to a charge that on July 10, 2020, at Pontoon, Midleton, Co Cork, he unlawfully possessed a controlled drug, namely cocaine, worth £280, contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Last September, Judge Gabbett jailed Allen for two months after convicting him of the offense following a day-long hearing.
Judge Gabbett noted that Allen was released from Cork Jail in May 2020 in connection with a previous cannabis offense and “within five weeks” the cocaine possession case was raised.
The Midleton District Court conviction represents a so-called “trigger offence” in relation to an ongoing suspended sentence for the previous cannabis case.
The court will now rule on a 15-month suspended sentence that Allen received following a previous, separate cannabis conviction in 2019.
He was arrested nearly four years ago after customs officers at the Portlaoise Mail Center became suspicious of a package addressed to Joshua Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, sent from the United States.
The sentence came after completing a three-month sentence at a residential drug treatment center in 2019.
He received the 15-month sentence after the court was told he was ‘naive’ and ‘amateurish’, with the youngster being warned he had initially faced the case with ‘stupidity’ .
Allen had last year vehemently denied Midleton’s cocaine possession charge.
The youngster is now involved in mixed martial arts (MMA) and has helped raise money for a number of local charities.
In evidence in court, he denied throwing anything into the bushes that night when gardaí approached a group of youths following a noise complaint.
“With all due respect, you’re making a mistake. It’s a big mistake,” he said.
“It affects me and my family a lot. It’s impossible [that I dropped anything].
“If I wanted to get rid of the drugs, I probably would have put them in my pants.”
He insisted it was simply his “first instinct” to get away from the gardaí when they arrived at the scene in Midleton.
Allen had insisted that the drug gardaí had found in Midleton that night was not his.