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Man found with cannabis weeks after suspended sentence imposed for same offence

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Dollingstown man who was caught with cannabis less than two months after being handed a suspended sentence for the same offence has been sentenced to 12 months probation.

The 28-year-old’s barrister told court: “This is a difficult plea to make but, albeit for a brief period, he has shown he can abstain from drugs and find employment”.

Dean Jason Camlin, of Alfred Terrace, appeared for sentencing on two counts of possession of Class B and possession of Class C at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Wednesday.

It was heard that these offences were accrued over two separate incidents, one of which dated back to 2017.

Prosecution outlined that at around 3.40am on July 15, of 2017, police received a report of a disturbance in Castle Lane Mews in Lurgan involving a male.

Officers spoke to a witness who claimed to have seen the defendant put drugs down his trousers.

Upon searching the defendant police located a tobacco pouching containing two plastic bags of blue pills.

Camlin was subsequently arrested and cautioned for the offence.

Whilst in a custody cell another bag of the pills fell out of his trousers.

During interview, the defendant made full admission informing police that the pills were diazepam and had not been prescribed to him.

The second incident occurred on May 29 of this year.

At around 8.40pm, police searched the defendant after he was caught acting suspiciously and hiding behind a parked car.

During this herbal cannabis was located on Camlin’s person.

Later his home address was searched and more herbal cannabis was also found there.

At first, the defendant denied the offence, but later calmed down.

During interview, he told police the drugs were worth £25 and had been for his own personal use.

District Judge Steven Keown stated: “The earlier offence predates all his drugs convictions but the problem is that he was handed a suspended sentence on April 3 then committed these other offences less than two months later.”

Defence barrister Conor Lunny said: “This is an identical re-occurrence of this type of offending, this is a man, whether it be self-inflicted or connected to traumatic experiences he suffered in his younger years, has been addicted to cannabis for some time.

“District Judge Kelly had ordered a pre-sentence report in the case anticipating that Mr Camlin find employment and to his credit he has with a local radiator company, that started around two weeks ago.”

He added: “This is a difficult plea to make but, albeit for a brief period, he has shown he can abstain from drugs and find employment”.

Judge Keown stated: “This man’s suspended sentence will run for the best part of two years, probation gives him the opportunity that he can’t say he didn’t get.

“The proof will be in the pudding as to whether he is willing to engage with probation”.

Camlin was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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