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Armagh man who only completed two of 100 hours community service to appeal jail term

The deputy district judge - who revoked the community service order and sentenced him to four months in prison - said: 'He was clearly given a chance by the court'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who completed two of his 100 hours of community service is appealing against a four month prison sentence imposed after the order was revoked.

The 26-year-old was sentenced to a combination order consisting of 100 hours community service and two years probation back in December.

This had been in relation to offences of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, obstructing police, possession of Class A and possession of Class B drugs.

Thomas Lester, of Corrigans Court, pleaded guilty to four counts of breaching a combination order at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry.

At a previous court, outlining the index offence, prosecution stated that at 1am on May 25, 2018, police on patrol of Ardmore Drive in Armagh observed a parked Seat Leon with its rear lights illuminated.

Officers spoke to two male occupants, one of whom was the defendant, who provided the police with an incorrect name.

A search was conducted on the vehicle and during this officers located a small bag containing white powder, a bag containing a hard brown substance, a knife and a hatchet.

Lester subsequently gave police his correct details and was arrested after admitting ownership of the items, with the car belonging to the other male whom he identified as his brother.

During his first interview the defendant provided no comment, however, in a second he claimed to have only said the items were his as he was already in trouble.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated that his client had lived and worked in England for a time but had returned to Armagh to have this matter dealt with.

He commented: “Being back here had been far too difficult for him.”

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “I take into account that he completed two of the 100 hours. He was clearly given a chance by the court.

“I have no confidence that if I allow this to continue that he will complete the order and I don’t see a point in going down the sentencing ladder.”

The combination order was revoked and Lester was sentenced to four months in prison for the offences.

Mr Thompson made it known that the defendant wished to appeal the sentence and bail to appeal was set at £400.

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