Caught ‘red handed’ with cocaine

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A 20-year-old man who was ‘caught red handed’ with cocaine was given community service last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

John Gerard Duffy, whose address was given to the court as Churchill Park, Portadown, admitted unlawful possession of a class A drug, namely cocaine, on June 9 this year.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court hearing to obtain a pre-sentence report from the probation service.

A public prosecutor said that at 11.45am Duffy was stopped on the Annesborough Road and searched under the drugs legislation.

A small bag fell out of his pocket.

The bag contained cocaine worth about £10 and Duffy admitted it was for his own use.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny said his client had been caught ‘red handed’.

He added that Duffy had previous convictions for cannabis and this was clearly an escalation.

Mr Lunny explained that the defendant’s family had received bad news in the spring time and Duffy’s father had passed away in July.

“This was the wrong way for him to deal with it,” the barrister told the court.

He said the defendant was willing to do community service.

The barrister also pointed out his client had ended contact with the friend who was the source of the cocaine.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, told Duffy his drug usage was escalating from cannabis to cocaine which was something she had to take into consideration.

She certified the offence sufficiently serious to impose a community based disposal of 130 hours unpaid work.