‘Young people taking drugs could lose cars’

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A judge has warned that if young people are gathering in cars to take drugs she will consider taking the cars off them.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, made the comment during a case at last Wednesday’s sitting of Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Luke Harrison (22), Selshion Hall, Portadown, admitted unlawful possession of cannabis on February 17 this year.

The court heard that police stopped a vehicle in Portadown. There were three males on board and the defendant was driving. There was a smell of cannabis from the vehicle and a rolled up cigarette containing cannabis was located in the defendant’s pocket.

He has a previous caution for a similar offence.

Judge Kelly said she had just been given an idea about the power to forfeiture a vehicle. She added that if young people were congregating in cars to take drugs she should be taking their cars.

“Isn’t that right Mr Harrison,” she told the defendant. “You don’t need a car only to take drugs in.”

The judge said this was the second case like this in the court list that day.

A solicitor representing the defendant said he had learned the error of his ways and let himself and his family down. Judge Kelly pointed out he had a record but ‘apparently cautions mean diddly squat.’

She imposed a fine of £350 and ordered him to pay a £15 offender’s levy. “If I see you again for drugs I am taking your car,” the judge told Harrison.