A man who used drugs from when he was 12-years-old was given a suspended prison sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for another drugs offence.
Twenty-seven-year-old Darren Anthony Sheppard, whose address was given to the court as Enniskeen, Craigavon, admitted unlawful possession of herbal cannabis on October 13 last year.
He was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
The court heard that during a search at an address in Enniskeen herbal cannabis was found and Sheppard said it belonged to him.
The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.
A barrister for the defendant said he had abstained from alcohol and also had not been using cannabis.
Only a small amount of cannabis was found, the barrister added.
District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said the report indicated Sheppard had a drug history from 12 years of age.
The barrister said drugs were no longer part of his lifestyle.
Judge Kelly added that 12 years old was pretty young to be starting out on a drugs lifestyle.
Sheppard’s barrister replied that he did have one relevant serious conviction for drugs in the Crown Court but he was now making positive changes in his life and moving forward.
Judge Kelly said there was no middle ground with drug use – either you use it or you don’t.
She added that her hands were tied as far as sentencing was concerned because community service had been tried twice.