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Police called to care facility after resident found with drug in his room

Solicitor said client used the drug as pain relief

Armagh Courthouse

A resident at a Loughgall care centre who was found with cannabis has been handed a £250 fine.

Court heard that the 48-year-old resided at the facility due to his mental health difficulties and is believed to have obtained the drugs during the time he was permitted to leave the grounds.

Mark Kearns, 48, of Drumilly Road, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on May 26, at around 2pm, police were called to Centre in Loughgall, after a suspected Class B drug was found in a resident’s room.

The substance was later identified as two grams of cannabis resin.

When interviewed, the defendant denied all knowledge of the drug.

Court heard that Kearns had previously been issued with two cautions for similar offences.

Defence solicitor Oisin Toner stated: “Mr Kearns lives in the nursing facility due to his mental health difficulties and is permitted leave from the grounds, during which time it is assumed he obtained the drugs.”

He added that the defendant used the drug as pain relief and had not worked for many years.

District Judge Paul Copeland said: “This is your first conviction. You have been warned not once but twice.

“If you are back again this will be dealt with much more severely.”

Kearns was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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