Caught with heroin while sitting in car

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When police saw a man sitting in a car it was discovered that he had heroin with him and was about to smoke it, a court has been told.

Vito Armando Vaz (35), Bells Row Court, Lurgan, admitted unlawful possession of a class A drug, heroin, last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was fined £350 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy. The court heard that on February 9 this year a police patrol saw a car parked on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

The defendant was sitting in the front seat and when police spoke to him he was extremely nervous.

A search uncovered tin foil with a brown substance on it and a tin foil snorting pipe.

Vaz made a full admission to having heroin and that it belonged to him. He said he had paid £20 for the drug.

A solicitor representing the defendant said a pre-sentence report assessed him as a medium risk of re-offending.

He added that Vaz had no drugs convictions on his record but he previously had a drugs addiction.

The solicitor said that the serious offences on his record were committed to fund his drug habit.

He explained that Vaz went through a treatment programme and there had been no offending since 2012.

The solicitor added that the reason his client bought the heroin was that he had just heard a close family member had been diagnosed with cancer and he bought the drug to smoke.

District Judge Peter King said Vaz had 24 previous convictions but none for drugs offending and the treatment he had received had worked up to a point.