Irishman escapes conviction after festival drug arrest

An Irish tourist has escaped conviction after being arrested with ten MDMA capsules.

An Irish tourist has escaped conviction after being arrested with ten MDMA capsules.

An Irish tourist arrested with 10 MDMA capsules at a music festival in Sydney on Sunday has faced court.

David Crean, 32, was one of ten people arrested for drug supply at the Ultra Music festival in Parramatta.

He was charged with supplying a prohibited drug after a sniffer dog sat down next to him when he entered Parramatta Park at about 1.45pm, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Crean, who was reportedly on a two-week holiday to Australia, escaped conviction after he argued the party drug is "not strong enough" in Australia and all of the pills were for his personal use.

According to police evidence tendered in court, Mr Crean was "nervous" and "visibly shaking" when he was spoken to by police, and when an officer asked "be honest, do you have any drugs on you?", he admitted he had drugs in his underwear.

Police uncovered a plastic resealable bag filled with coffee grounds and 10 capsules of MDMA during a search in a private tent. Mr Crean told police he "did not intend on selling the capsules and planned on consuming all of them himself as the purity of MDMA in Australia is not strong enough", the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Mr Crean's lawyer told Parramatta Local Court her client was willing to plead guilty to drug supply to get the matter dealt with quickly so he could return overseas on Friday.

Magistrate Richard Funston did not record a conviction because of the small amount involved and Mr Crean's lack of a criminal record. He told the tourist he could have died if he took the capsules.

"It's an incredibly foolish thing to do and obviously – I say it for the purpose of the court as well – people die of drug overdoses," Mr Funston said, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

During the event, which attracted over 20,500 people, 395 person searches were conducted, with 98 drug detections made during the operation for cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA.

Twenty-nine revellers were issued Criminal Infringement Notices, 28 for possession of MDMA, and one for cocaine, along with 13 cannabis cautions.