‘Another matter for the Borders Agency’

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A 40-year-old man who lapsed and went back onto heroin was given a three month jail sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Claudio Manuel Vieira Ferreira, Hanover Street, Portadown, admitted unlawful possession of the class A drug on February 5 this year.

The court heard that police were going to search the defendant’s home under the drugs legislation.

They asked him if he had any controlled drugs and he pointed out a small amount of heroin in silver foil in the living room.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said this could be another matter for the Borders Agency because of his record.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said his client’s record tailed off after 2012 after he received opiate substance treatment but he lapsed and went back to heroin.

Judge Kelly said she could recognise a regular user when they came through the door of the court. “They wear it on the outside,” she added.

Judge Kelly said there was no point in her giving the defendant the speech about heroin being so pernicious.

She added that she did not have the benefit of a pre-sentence report as he failed to attend with probation so given his record there was only one penalty she could impose.

Sentencing Ferreira to immediate custody she also ordered him to pay a £25 offender’s levy.

Later in the court Ferreira was released on his own bail of £500 to appeal against the sentence.

Conditions of his bail include a curfew from 8pm to 6am, a complete alcohol ban and he is not to consume any illegal drugs or illegal highs and he is not to abuse prescription drugs.