THE teenage son of celebrity chef Rachel Allen has been remanded in jail for 21 days after he appeared in court on a number of drugs charges including one of dealing cannabis.
Joshua Allen, with an address in Ballinamona, Shanagarry Co Cork, appeared in Cork Circuit Criminal Court where the judge said he was “singularly unimpressed by his progress” in dealing with his addiction and with the Probation Service.
Judge Sean O’Donnabhain said the teenager “has not matured in the manner I would have expected or required for a person before the court on such serious charges.
“There is no point in minimizing what happened.”
When defending, Counsel Siobhan Langford asked the judge to consider a more favourable report from drug treatment service Arbour House.
He said: “He has knitted his own jumper and I will not let him him do that.”
At an earlier court session, the 19-year-old pleaded guilty to two drugs charges at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co Cork on August 30, 2018 including possession of cannabis for sale or supply to others where the amount of the drug exceeded €13,000.
This charge is brought under Section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine under Section 3 Offence of the Misuse of Drugs Act on the same occasion and to another Section 3 charge at his home – possession of cannabis on September 8 last at Ballinamona, Shanagarry, Co Cork.
Detective Sergeant Michael O’Halloran said on August 27, 2018 a package was intercepted in the postal sorting office in Portlaoise addressed to Joshua Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
The package contained over €26,400 worth of cannabis.
The Det Sgt said: “This originated in the US. A controlled delivery was organised to take place on August 30. The package was delivered to Joshua Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School where it was signed for and received by him.
“He was observed sitting outside the cookery school opening the package.”
Gardai approached the car and spoke to him. While doing that, a wallet was found which contained a small quantity of cocaine.
Allen was arrested and was detained in Cobh Garda Station where he was fully co-operative.
He told gardai this was his third or fourth time getting similar types of deliveries of the same quantities of cannabis.
Det Sgt O’Halloran said: “He said he was dealing with a lady residing in California whom he met in East Cork.
“He travelled to London and paid €2,000 in cash there to her as he did not want to transfer money via Western Union.
“During the course of the interrogation he admitted he had a small quantity of cannabis in his home in Shanagarry which was valued at €203.”
The judge said it was unusual for someone as young as 18 to be charged with the serious drug charge of dealing.
Referring to the Probation Report he received he said: “He is not the most mature of people. The report sets out a situation that he is not helping himself.”
Ms Langford said she would like the court to look at the report from Arbour House where he had been attending since April 19 last.
He had been giving urine samples and “the court can see he had a few lapses in terms of using cannabis. The counsellors say that is not an unusual occurrence in the early months of the change process.”
She said Allen was proactive in tackling his addiction and was attending the pre-entry service for Tabor Lodge, a residential drugs treatment centre in Cork.
He had missed one or two of those sessions.
She said: “He is trying to come to terms with his addiction. He is involved in a voluntary way with a service for the homeless.
“He has also returned to physical activity and is playing soccer.”
Judge O’Donnabhain said he was not impressed and he could dispense with the matter today or go halfway and put him into custody until the end of next term (in February).
He said the defendant had not dealt with the matter the way he would have expected. He had missed one or two sessions with Tabor Lodge before he came to court.
Ms Langford said Allen left school at 15.
She said: “At the time of the offence he was 18 and had never come before the courts.”
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She suggested it might be possible to secure a residential drug treatment place for him and the judge indicated that he would be open to considering that option.
In the meantime, he remanded the teenager in custody until November 29 next when Allen will return again to the court for a sentencing hearing.
Joshua’s mum Rachel Allen is a TV chef and is the bestselling author author of many cookbooks and has appeared in television series for RTE and the BBC.