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Man lied to police that drugs in car belonged to someone else because his mother was present

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He originally said he had lent the car to a person whom he owed money to store drugs in

A man who claimed drugs found in his car were put there by someone he owed money to has been sentenced to 40 hours of community service.

Court heard the 24-year-old owned up to police that he had lied in his initial interview due to the presence of his mother.

Ashley Dowey, 24, of Merrion Drive, Lurgan pleaded guilty to possession of Class A and possession of Class B drugs at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on May 12, 2016, the defendant was stopped driving an Audi car on Lake Road, Lurgan.

During a search of the vehicle, police found two bags of herbal cannabis and a quantity of tablets.

Dowey claimed that he knew nothing about the drugs but had lent the car to an unknown person who must have left them there.

He was subsequently taken to Lurgan Police station.

During interview, the defendant claimed he had an ongoing drug problem but the drugs in the car did not belong to him.

He said he had lent the car to a person, who he did want to name as he owed them money, to store drugs in.

Dowey claimed he had loaned the car and been paid in cannabis.

Court heard that the quantity of cannabis was around 8.85g and the tablets were 47 MDMA pills.

On a later date, the defendant was re-interviewed. He said that he had made up the original story due to the presence of his mother and that in fact, all the drugs belonged to him.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “Mr Dowey was sailing close to the wind at this time, but he was shown mercy by the court in the form of a deferral.

“This is a matter which could very easily have been in the Crown Court given the quantity.”

He said: “Progress has been made by Mr Dowey, he has suffered although this was self-inflicted through drugs and alcohol problems from a young age.

“He has been abstinent from alcohol for three or four weeks, although there is no documentary evidence, and has managed to find full-time work.”

Deputy District Judge Laura Ivers stated: “Mr Dowey you have accepted the position of the court and have taken steps to tackle your addictions.

“However, the court does see the quantity as an aggravating feature and must mark it in some way.”

The defendant was sentenced to a combination order consisting of 40 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

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