‘You cannot work with the elderly and take drugs’

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A 19-year-old care assistant was told last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court that she cannot work with the elderly if she took drugs.

Alexandra Moore, Ballyoran Heights, Portadown, admitted unlawful possession of a class B drug, cannabis resin, on February 8 this year.

She also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance on the same date.

The court heard that at 4.25pm she was stopped on the Tandragee Road in Portadown and checks showed there was no insurance.

Moore said she had missed a payment in November but assumed the policy was still in place.

A search of the car uncovered as small amount of cannabis resin.

Mr Peter Murphy, representing the defendant, said his client had a previous caution for a drugs offence.

He added that she wasn’t aware that the drug was in the car.

Mr Murphy explained she had been paying for her insurance by direct debit and there wasn’t enough money to pay for it.

He added that a letter from the insurance company went to her mother’s address and Moore wasn’t aware of the latter.

The solicitor said she travels in her work as a care assistant and if she got six points she would have to sit her test again.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, asked how the defendant could be a care assistant if she does drugs.

Mr Murphy said she had spoken to her employer on the advice of the police and they were happy to keep her on.

The defendant told the judge she had been fully investigated.

“Do you know what doing drugs can do to your career?” said Judge Kelly adding that Moore had been cautioned for a similar offence in August last year.

“I’m telling you that you cannot work with the elderly if you are continuing to do drugs,” added the judge.

“You have a choice to make, chose a drug lifestyle and not work in the profession or chose the profession and give up drugs.”

For the drugs offence she imposed a £350 fine and ordered her to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

She was fined £200 and banned for two weeks for not having insurance.