Police in attendance in Clonavon area of Ballymena in relation to 'sudden death' then found drugs at a nearby address

Police in attendance in Clonavon area of Ballymena in relation to 'sudden death' then found drugs at a nearby address

POLICE who were in the Clonavon area of Ballymena in relation to a "sudden death" then  detected a "strong smell" of cannabis coming from a nearby address.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court (main picture) when 23-year-old Andrew Bain answered the door to police at North Street he was "accompanied by a strong smell of cannabis".

A search of Bain's property found cannabis and Xanax and the defendant admitted possession of Class B and C drugs.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said the drugs were for the defendant's personal use.

The lawyer said "coincidentally" police had been in the area in connection with a "sudden death" and approached Mr Bain to see "if he could assist them in giving information about the neighbour.

They then smelt the cannabis, entered the premises, and found these in a bedside table".

Mr Law said Bain accepts he is using cannabis as "he feels it is assisting him" with health difficulties.

Mr Law told the court: "There is a wealth of medical evidence, albeit some of it is controversial and conflicting, that they in fact enhance the problems that he is experiencing.

"Whilst he feels that they may assist him the medical profession would perhaps say otherwise".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: "The court have given you every opportunity to stop taking drugs".

Unfortunately, he added, Bain had not taken the chances.

He said the defendant was also in breach of a suspended sentence and added: "The court have lost patience with you. They have given you every opportunity to address this drug addiction."

Bain was given a six months prison term but had £500 bail fixed for appeal.