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Man who started taking drugs at 12 leaves Lurgan because ‘there are a lot of drugs’ in town

A prosecution solicitor told the court how staff at Tesco on Millennium Way in Lurgan reported two males acting suspiciously in the car park, at around 6am on Sunday, February 28 last year

A County Armagh man who has been abusing drugs since the age of 12 says he has moved out of Lurgan in a bid to kick the habit.

Craigavon Magistrates’ Court heard how Michael Redmond Doran, with an address in William Street, Donaghcloney, had moved to the County Down village, a few miles away, because “there are a lot of drugs in Lurgan”.

The 29-year-old appeared before Magistrates on Tuesday on a possession of Class C drugs charge – the latest in a comprehensive list of similar drugs offences, according to his court records.

A prosecution solicitor told the court how staff at Tesco on Millennium Way in Lurgan reported two males acting suspiciously in the car park, at around 6am on Sunday, February 28 last year.

When staff approached the defendant they noticed he had a pack of tablets in his hand – police found 56 Zopiclone tablets on his person.

He made no comment during a police interview.

Doran’s defence solicitor conceded that his client had a relevant record but that his last blemish came back in September 2021, with nothing since.

Referencing the pre-sentence report, defence counsel stated: “It’s quite a sad report. The defendant started taking drugs at 12; he’s had some family difficulties. He’s desperate to get off drugs, he’s moved out of the Lurgan area for he said there are a lot of drugs in Lurgan. He has moved to Donaghcloney and he is extremely motivated to get off drugs.”

In passing sentence on Doran who stood at the rear of the courtroom, District Judge Bernie Kelly, said: “You took drugs early and have have not changed that; I do not see that as a motivation to get off drugs.

“You have breached every court order, bar one, that has ever been imposed upon you. I don’t see that as a good portent for any community order this court may consider.

“Therefore, there is only penalty I can impose, and that’s taking into consideration your record.”

Doran was handed two months in prison suspended for two years.

“If you don’t want to serve time in person then you should do something about your drugs problem,” added District Judge Kelly.

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