A JUDGE said the number of people coming before courts charged with possessing cocaine "seems to be much more prevalent".
Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall was speaking at Downpatrick Magistrates Court where she handed out a £200 fine in a possession of Class A drugs case.
Colin George Randell (41), of Fairyknowe Park, Newtownabbey, was caught with cocaine on October 24 last year.
Judge Marshall noted the defendant told a police officer: "Your mate is doing me for a wee bit of 'coke' but I don't care".
She added: "Well, he will care in a moment or two".
The defendant, who had a record for possessing Class C drugs several years ago, was not before the court.
Judge Marshall said court cases regarding cocaine "seems to be much more prevalent now".
She added: "It is becoming nearly as common in courts for people to be in possession of cocaine as it is for cannabis these days."
- Main picture: Illustrative general media picture of how people use 'cocaine'.