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Defendant didn’t get chance to ‘sample’ cannabis he purchased, court told

A Lurgan man who has appeared in court for his first drugs offence has been warned he would “do well not to enter the world of drugs”.

The 24-year-old’s barrister said that his client had instructed he did not even have a chance to “sample the illicit drug”.

James Mongan, of Liscorran Court, pleaded guilty to possession of Class B at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on May 13, at 11.25am, police on patrol in Lurgan stopped a car in which the defendant was a front seat passenger.

After detecting a strong smell of cannabis, officers decided to conduct a search of the vehicle and its occupants.

Herbal cannabis was found in Mongan’s sock, with a grinder also located in his coat pocket.

During interview, the defendant made full admissions and said he had paid £20 for the drugs.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “This is a man without any prior drugs offences; this does come in breach of a suspended sentence, but I would ask your worship to differentiate this.

“He isn’t a drug user, he instructs after a prescription for a painkiller he was on ran out, a friend told him that he could use cannabis as an alternative.”

He added: “It is his instruction that he did not even have a chance to sample the illicit drug.”

Deputy District Judge Gerry Trainor commented: “The grinder does not give me much confidence”.

He added: “Mr Mongan, you would do well not to enter the world of drugs.”

The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.

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