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Keady man almost struck police vehicle trying to hide cannabis in sock approaching checkpoint

They observed a black Peugeot swerving over the road and almost hitting a police vehicle

A Keady man who was found with cannabis after police stopped him due to his driving has been fined £300.

Court heard that the 33-year-old had displayed erratic driving as he was attempting to hide the drugs in his sock after spotting police.

Leo Chambers, of Crossnenagh Road, pleaded guilty to possession of class B and driving without due care or attention at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday.

It was heard that at around 9am on June 3, 2018, police were conducting a vehicle checkpoint on the Portadown Road.

They observed a black Peugeot swerving over the road and almost hitting a police vehicle.

Officers then signalled for the car the pull over. It did so positioning itself halfway on the hard shoulder and halfway on the road.

It was noted that the defendant’s eyes were glazed and there was a strong smell of cannabis.

When police asked for his licence, Chambers sprayed deodorant to mask the smell.

Officers questioned the defendant on the smell and he produced a small quantity of cannabis from his sock.

After further searches of the vehicle police located more of the drug.

During interview, the defendant made full admissions to the offence.

Defence solicitor Jarlath Fields stated: “Mr Chambers observed the police and attempted to hide the cannabis in his sock. That is why he was driving in an erratic way.

“He was taken to Dungannon Custody Suite where he passed a field impairment test.”

He added: “He is responsible for looking after the children, as his wife works full time, especially the youngest who is very sick.

“Mr Chambers has not appeared before a court in over 10 years, and for nothing relevant in over 20.”

The defendant was handed six penalty points and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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