Man who told police he bought drugs from Jesus given ‘a chance’

Man sentenced to complete 120 hours of Community Service.
Man sentenced to complete 120 hours of Community Service.

A 42-year-old man who claimed he had bought drugs from Jesus and took them because ‘it relaxes me around idiots’ has told a court he is trying to turn his life around.

And last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court he was given the chance to show that he could stay off drugs, hold down a job and stay out of trouble.

Arthur O’Neill, whose address was given as Parkmore, Craigavon, was charged with unlawful possession of a class B drug, cannabis resin, on March 14 this year.

The court heard how police saw him walking in Parkmore and asked him if he had any drugs on him but he started to walk away.

When he was searched by officers a small amount of cannabis resin was found in his wallet.

He told police he had bought it from Jesus and ‘it relaxes me when around idiots’.

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

A report was not available and defence barrister, Damien Halloran, said his client had only received the letter from probation after the date of the appointment.

He added that O’Neill had been caught red handed but his last offence for cannabis was in 2015 and he was not in breach of any suspended sentence.

Mr Halloran indicated that the defendant had referred himself to his GP, was off cannabis and had been working for the last two months.

He also said that O’Neill’s son had indicated he wanted to live with him so he knew he had to stay clear of drugs.

The lawyer added that his client didn’t pass the attitude test when he was arrested.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said that when she read what he told police about his drugs views it would come as no surprise to him that she would find them intolerable.

In court O’Neill told her he was now clean from cannabis and trying to turn his life around.

Judge Kelly said she was going to give him a chance and defer sentencing for six months.

She added that during the deferred period she expected him to keep his job or if he lost it get another one, be drugs free and not to be spoken to by a police officer about any aspect of his behaviour.

The judge deferred sentencing until April 3 of next year.