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Man caught with cannabis warned of ‘much more serious penalty’ if he comes back before court

Defendant appeared nervous and agitated when stopped by police

Armagh Magistrates Court

A man who was caught with cannabis after not being dealt with for such an offence since he was a youth has been fined £185.

The district judge told the 22-year-old: “There is some suggestion this is drifting back in. I am warning you if you are back before this court again for a drugs offence there will be a much more serious penalty.”

Jamie Harrison, 22, of Main Street, Donaghcloney, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug at Armagh Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday.

Court heard that on April 1, police stopped the defendant driving a Volkswagen Golf. They noted that Harrison appeared nervous and agitated.

When officers told the defendant that he would be searched he handed them a tin containing a small amount of a brown substance.

During interview, Harrison made full admissions stating the substance was cannabis, for which he had paid £25, and that it was for his own personal use.

Defence barrister Bobbie Rea told court this was the defendant’s third such conviction with the other two dating back to 2014, when Harrison was dealt with as a youth.

He stated: “He gave the drugs over to police, he was fully co-operative. Mr Harrison works as a welder 40 hours a week.

“He resides with his partner and one-year-old child, these other offences although relevant were some time ago.”

District Judge Paul Copeland said: “Mr Harrison, you were engaged in these types of offences some time ago for which you were dealt with by the Youth Court.

“There is some suggestion this is drifting back in. I am warning you if you are back before this court again for a drugs offence there will be a much more serious penalty.”

Harrison was ordered to pay a fine of £185, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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