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Third conviction for possessing drug results in man being fined £200

Defendant had a caution and two convictions for possessing drug before latest appearance

A Co Down man with two previous convictions for possession of drugs has been fined £200.

The 23-year-old’s legal representative stated: “I have told him that even the most sympathetic of courts will have to take a certain view if this offending continues.”

Tobias Harding, of Kilkeel, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on September 13, at around 4.30pm, the defendant was stopped by police driving a Toyota Avensis on the Greencastle Road, Kilkeel.

Officers detected a smell of cannabis and when asked about this Harding handed over a small bag of herbal cannabis.

During a notebook interview, the defendant told police it was two grams of cannabis worth around £30.

Defence counsel informed the court that Harding had one previous caution and two convictions for possession drugs.

He stated: “Even with these small amounts found, I have told him that even the most sympathetic of courts will have to take a certain view if this offending continues.”

Court was informed that the defendant did not work, with his previous employment being in a fish factory.

District Judge Eamonn King stated: “Some scientific evidence, in America, has shown that long periods of drug use makes a person unable to complete work.”

Harding was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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