Court hears man 'doesn't want to give up' cannabis

Court hears man 'doesn't want to give up' cannabis

A MAN caught with cannabis worth an estimated £60, according to a prosecutor, has been given a four months jail term, suspended for one year.

Paul Bowers (30), with an address listed as Drumtara in Ballymena, had the offence detected when police stopped a car at a checkpoint at 11pm on July 7 this year at the town's Queen Street.

Officers detected a "strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle".

The defendant, who said it was for personal use, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class C drug.

A defence lawyer said a pre-sentence report made for "sad and tragic reading".

Handing down a four months prison term, suspended for a year, at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, District Judge Nigel Broderick said: "He doesn't want to give it up, I see".

The lawyer said he had reminded the defendant, who was in a "cycle of cannabis mis-use," having the Class B drug is a criminal offence.

The judge said the court had given the defendant an opportunity to get help for his drug addiction "but you don't want it so I can't force it on you. If you don't want to do it I can't make you do it. It is up to you whether you want to go to prison".