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A teenager who was somehow the cause for death of a talented footballer by selling him a lethal drug has appeared in court and said going to jail would be a harsh punishment.
The 17-year-old, whose name is withheld for many reasons, was charged with the death of Michael Cornacchia, 16, when he appeared at the Cork Circuit Criminal Court. On the 16th of January, Michael Cornacchia, was found dead at his home in Deerpark after taking the drugs that the accused teenager had sold him.
Michael Cornacchia’s body was found by his mom in a bedroom at their home who then called the emergency services but the teen was pronounced dead at the scene.
The accused teenager pleaded guilty to the sale and supply of the psychoactive drug, U47700.
Gerard O’Brien, the judge at the hearing expressed “extreme concern” that the accused teenager, after pleading guilty to possession of a lethal synthetic drug still didn’t believe his offense was worth a prison sentence.
The investigation into the death of Michael Cornacchia, a 16-year-old boy footballer from Cork, was ended after the cause of his death was given as a combination of the lethal designer drug U-47700 and Ecstasy.
The teen’s death was the first in Ireland that someone had died from the lethal drug U47700 and as part of the measures ensuring that it never happens again, a major investigation was launched into the matter which kicked start with the arrest and questioning of many people by Gardai.
This dangerous drug has killed many people in the United States and even a number of cities in the UK.
Although the accused teen pleaded guilty to the charges against him, Judge O’Brien adjourned the sentencing before Cork Circuit Criminal Court after stressing on a number of aspects of the case that needed serious concern.
He stated that he was adjourning the sentencing until next year due to concerns about what the youth actually had in mind about the whole incident. The Probation and Welfare Service stated that the accused teen still remained at high risk of re-offending if released from custody as well as the absence of a proper support plan for him to avail of State services.
Representing the accused was James O’Mahony who stated in court that, the teenager was making progress in Oberstown youth detention center in Dublin, where he is currently being detained for other offenses. Aside from that, the teen also has a mother who is very supportive and works hard to take care of him as well as keep him out of trouble.
Judge O’Brien, however, wasn’t satisfied with that and said to the teen’s counsel that: “I am very concerned that your client spoke to the probation officer and felt the sale of this particular drug didn’t merit a prison sentence.”
Before Judge O’Brien adjourned the case, he granted him bail to appear before Cork Circuit Criminal court on the 1st of February, 2018.
At a court hearing which was had earlier at Cork Circuit Criminal court, the accused’s counsel stated that, although he wasn’t trying to agitate the family of Mr. Cornacchia, he did not accept that Mr. Cornacchia’s death was as a direct result of the offense his client pleaded guilty to.
Judge O’Brien made a counter statement saying that the accused had pleaded guilty to an offense of possessing the drug for sale or supply, knowing or being reckless to whether it was acquired for human consumption.
“The consequence that flowed from the sale of this drug was the death of a 16-year-old boy,” Judge O’Brien stated.
The accused’s counsel also added that the teenager had shown “genuine remorse” after appearing before the court because of the “the tragic death of this poor unfortunate child.” He added that the teen had begun maturing since entering into Oberstown and the staff there believed that he was “a model” detainee.
Judge O’Brien stated afterward that he was very much concerned at the manner in which the teen had progressed in terms of offending to get to the stage where he was now standing before the circuit criminal court on a very delicate matter.
“The consequences that flowed from the sale of this drug was the death of a 16-year-old boy,” he stated. “I need to know why [the defendant] went so far off the rails.”