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District judge sounds a warning note to music student after second drugs conviction

Defendant told to 'seek help' if it is needed after being caught with cannabis

A Portadown man has been warned by a judge that any further drugs convictions could lead to a prison sentence.

The district judge told the 23-year-old: “The court is concerned that this is your second conviction and advise you to seek help if it is needed.”

Michael Tiffney, of Derryall Road, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on February 22, at 6.25pm, police had reason to stop a Volkswagen Passat on Charles Street, Portadown.

Officers noted a slight smell of cannabis coming from the car and told the occupants the vehicle would be searched.

A small container with a green substance inside was found in a black bag in the rear of the car during the search.

The defendant, who had been in the vehicle, claimed to be the owner of the substance which was later found to be herbal cannabis.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney stated: “Mr Tiffney was fully cooperative and made full admissions to the police.

“He has been abstinent from the drug since this offence.”

Court heard this was the second drugs conviction for the defendant, who studies music at Southern Regional College.

Deputy District Judge Laura Ivers stated: “Mr Tiffney your acceptance of the offence is the only reason I am dealing with you by way of a fine today.

“The court is concerned that this is your second conviction and advise you to seek help if it is needed.”

The defendant was warned that any further detection was likely to end in a prison sentence.

Tiffney was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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