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District judge jails man caught with drugs saying he had little interest in changing his lifestyle

Defendant shouted from dock as district judge said she did not see point of ordering probation

A Lurgan man who showed little interest in changing his lifestyle when spoken to by probation has been sentenced to four months in prison.

The 24-year-old’s legal representative stated that he was “hopelessly addicted and did not want to abuse the process of probation”.

John Thornbury, 24, of Ashgrove Drive, pleaded guilty to possession of Class B and possession of Class A drugs at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on December 2, at around 2.30am, police spotted the defendant in a car parked in a layby.

Officers approached to speak to Thornbury when they detected a smell of cannabis.

Police searched the vehicle finding one bag of white powder and a small quantity of herbal cannabis.

Whilst in custody police found a further bag of white powder on the defendant.

Court heard that 2.25g of cocaine worth around £90 and 0.5g of herbal cannabis with a street value of less than £10 was found.

When interviewed, Thornbury made full admissions to owning the cannabis but claimed the cocaine had been left in his car by other people the night before.

He refused to tell police the names of these people.

District Judge Bernie Kelly commented that in his report with probation the defendant had shown he had little interest in changing his lifestyle.

She added: “I can see why too – lie at home all day every day and have money to spend on drugs.”

Court heard that Thornbury had in fact recently found work as a welder.

Defence counsel stated: “Mr Thornbury has been very honest, he is hopelessly addicted and did not want to abuse the process of probation.

“He feels in himself that he cannot stop his use of cannabis but he does consent to community service.”

District Judge Kelly said: “Well, it didn’t work the last time, I don’t see the point and probation have given their view of the situation in their report.”

Thornbury shouted from the dock at this point saying: “That’s your opinion.”

The district judge continued: “The problem is that he is still at the age where he knows all the answers.”

She added: “You have a particularly poor record for drugs offences and now you have added Class A as well.”

Thornbury was sentenced to four months in prison for all of the offences.




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