A Newtownhamilton man who was caught with cannabis within two weeks of receiving a caution for a similar offence has been fined £150.
The district judge told the 25-year-old: “Don’t be wasting your money on court fines. If you are before the court again it will be more than this again.”
John Preston, of Cortamlat Road, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
It was heard that on April 14, the defendant was stopped by police at a routine checkpoint in Armagh.
Officers observed a number of cigarette filters and papers in the back of the car and when questioned Preston stated they were for cigarettes only.
As the defendant exited the vehicle police spotted a bag in the door compartment containing cannabis.
During a notebook interview, Preston claimed he had found the substance in his back seat but accepted possession.
Court heard the defendant was cautioned for a similar offence in April.
Defence solicitor Jarlath Fields stated: “Mr Preston is employed as a lorry driver. He lives with his parents. He was cautioned a short time before this offence but other than that has no record.
“He instructs that he has not smoked cannabis since.”
District Judge Peter King said: “Don’t be wasting your money on court fines. If you are before the court again it will be more than this again.”
Preston was ordered to pay a fine of £150, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 15 weeks.
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