A Lurgan man who has appeared in court for his first drugs offence has been warned he would “do well not to enter the world of drugs”.
The 24-year-old’s barrister said that his client had instructed he did not even have a chance to “sample the illicit drug”.
James Mongan, of Liscorran Court, pleaded guilty to possession of Class B at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Wednesday.
Prosecution outlined that on May 13, at 11.25am, police on patrol in Lurgan stopped a car in which the defendant was a front seat passenger.
After detecting a strong smell of cannabis, officers decided to conduct a search of the vehicle and its occupants.
Herbal cannabis was found in Mongan’s sock, with a grinder also located in his coat pocket.
During interview, the defendant made full admissions and said he had paid £20 for the drugs.
Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “This is a man without any prior drugs offences; this does come in breach of a suspended sentence, but I would ask your worship to differentiate this.
“He isn’t a drug user, he instructs after a prescription for a painkiller he was on ran out, a friend told him that he could use cannabis as an alternative.”
He added: “It is his instruction that he did not even have a chance to sample the illicit drug.”
Deputy District Judge Gerry Trainor commented: “The grinder does not give me much confidence”.
He added: “Mr Mongan, you would do well not to enter the world of drugs.”
The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.