Joshua Allen, the son of celebrity chef Rachel Allen, has been remanded in custody until Friday while the presiding judge reads probation reports compiled in relation to him.
Mr Allen (22) of Ballinamona, Shanagarry, Co Cork appeared before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Monday where he was appealing a two-month sentence he previously received after he was convicted of being in possession of €280 worth of cocaine in July 2020.
The offence occurred just weeks after Mr Allen was released from custody having served a 15-month sentence after he was found to be in possession of €22,000 worth of cannabis for sale and supply in August 2018.
Allen had received a 30-month sentence, with half of it suspended by a judge in March 2020. However, his re offending was a triggering offence and Mr Allen was before the court today so Judge Sarah Berkeley could make a determination on whether he should go back to prison.
Judge Berkeley told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that she was particularly concerned about two suspected drug driving cases facing Mr Allen including one alleged incident which occurred in Dungarvan, Co Waterford a month ago. The second alleged incident was in April of last year.
Defence barrister Donal O'Sullivan said that his client vehemently denied both drug driving allegations. He stated that Mr Allen had turned his life around via work and was training in MMA five to six times a week.
Mr Allen's grandmother acclaimed chef Darina Allen wrote a letter to the court in which she said that she believed her grandson had turned a corner.
She stated that in late 2020 Joshua discovered MMA and boxing which had given him a new focus.
Mrs Allen said that her grandson also works on the family farm in Ballymaloe, Co Cork and is willing to anything that is required of him.
“I know he has made mistakes but he realises all his troubles have been caused by issues with drugs and alcohol He has disassociated himself from his former associates and he is determined to turn his life around.
He has told me how much he regrets his actions and with the benefit of hindsight he is acutely aware of the folly of his ways. He is determined to continue on the path he is now on."
Judge Berkeley asked defence barrister Donal O'Sullivan why Mr Allen had left school at the age of fifteen. Mr O'Sullivan said the teenager had set his own boundaries and had meandered without purpose for some time.
Mr O'Sullivan said that his client had been immature but was now starting to make improvements in his life.
"He had an aimless life from the age of 15 to 20. He is no longer aimless and loves his sport and working. He is beginning to mature and the maturing process takes time. But he has matured and grown up.”
Allen has been given urine samples to his GP for testing since September 2021 and has received eight clear tests to date.
Mr O’Sullivan said Allen had found some structure from life and has the support of his family.
Minor cocaine possession
He asked the court to consider suspending the two-month sentence set by the district court for minor cocaine possession and not to reactivate the 15 months previously suspended in Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Berkeley said she had a number of concerns including the fact that Joshua had reoffended just six weeks after being released from prison. However, she noted that reports she read about his progress were favourable.
The judge said she was adjourning sentencing until next Friday to allow for closer consideration of the probation and medical reports furnished about Mr Allen.
She said “I want to read everything on file about him”