Carer who admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply receives suspended prison sentence at court in Ballymena

Carer who admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply receives suspended prison sentence at court in Ballymena

A CARER who admitted possessing Pregabalin and Tramadol with intent to supply has been given a suspended jail sentence at  Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena.

James Murray (21), formerly of Brookhill but now of Neillsbrook Park in Randalstown, also pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs.

He also admits driving whilst disqualified; driving whilst unfit and absence of insurance at the town's Magheralane Road.

The offences relate to October 29 last year where the defendant was driving a vehicle which collided with a parked car at 10.15am.

Police saw the defendant had "heavy red eyes" and slurred speech and Murray claimed he had come off night shift and had only slept four hours in the previous two days.

He initially gave false details to police before giving correct information.

A prosecutor said the defendant told police he had "Lyrica" (also known as Pregabalin) which "belonged to a friend and he was given them to take to someone".

Police found five blister packs of Pregabalin and one blister pack of Tramadol, along with a set of scales inside his backpack.

Cannabis and Pregabalin was detected in his blood.

A defence barrister said: "Three years ago he was involved in a very bad traffic accident and the irony, of course, on this matter, must strike him considerably."

The lawyer said the defendant received a broken pelvis and a back injury in the previous accident and had been supplementing medication with cannabis.

The court heard Murray is a "carer in a support centre for people with special needs".

The defendant was given a five months prison term, suspended two years; was banned from driving for two years and fined £400.