Stoned nephew put green diesel in jeep, claims driver
A driver charged with having green diesel in his jeep has said it was put in by his nephew who was ‘out of his mind’ on cannabis.
Noel Jinks of Upper Mullaghmore, Cliffoney, Co Sligo was before Castlebar District Court on Friday last charged with having green diesel in his jeep when he met a Customs and Excise checkpoint at Kilkelly on April 16, 2014. It is illegal to have marked (green) diesel in non-agricultural vehicles on public roads.
Noel Jinks told the court he was in Mayo that day as he was collecting an injured donkey. He is a horse welfare officer and has some green diesel drums at his home, he added. He said his nephew, Colin Jinks, who sometimes lives with him, has a drug problem and ‘must have been smoking that morning’ and put green diesel in by accident. He said he fell out with his nephew over the incident. He added that his nephew was in court too, as he had to take responsibility. Colin Jinks told the court he is a heavy user of cannabis and that his uncle asked him to put fuel in his jeep but that he picked up the wrong can as he was ‘heavily stoned on weed’. He said he offered to give his uncle €1,500 to help pay the fine but his uncle would not accept it, as Colin Jinks was borrowing it from ‘money lenders’ in Sligo.
State solicitor Vincent Deane put it to Colin Jinks that he seemed ‘very clear about what happened’ even though he was ‘heavily stoned’. Jinks said he remembered which can he used, a blue can, and that his uncle subsequently told him that was the wrong can.
Vincent Deane argued that when tested, the sample showed a concentration of 105 percent marked diesel, meaning there was no normal diesel mixed with the green diesel at all. Colin Jinks said he thought he remembered his uncle telling him the fuel was very low in the jeep. Vincent Deane remarked that it was easy to be ‘cynical about the chain of events’.
Defending solicitor Mark Mullaney argued that the 42-day delay from the date of the offence to the sample being sent for testing was too long. State solicitor Vincent Deane countered that the fuel had been ‘in the ground for six million years’ and that ‘another four or six weeks is not going to make much difference’. Judge Mary Devins ruled the delay was not exceptional.
She said the issue was one of ‘credibility’ and that she would consider the matter, and she adjourned the case to September 25 for ruling.