Man had significant difficulty with cannabis court told


A 32-year-old Donaghcloney man was given 100 hours community service last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for a drugs offence.

Alastair Copeland, Baird Avenue, Donacloney, at an earlier court, had admitted unlawful possession of cannabis on May 6 this year.

He had previous convictions for similar offences and the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that at 10.05pm he was stopped on the Belfast Road, Dollingstown, and police noticed a smell of cannabis inside the vehicle.

Copeland handed over a small tin box containing herbal cannabis.

He made a full admission that it was cannabis and it was for his own personal use.

A barrister representing Copeland said he had three previous convictions for similar offences and a caution as well.

She added that he had a significant difficulty with cannabis but had now obtained private therapy at £40 a week on a programme which had no time limit.

The barrister explained that Copeland had serious problems and had been referred to the addictions unit. He was making concerted efforts to address his problem.

She added that the pre-sentence report was very positive and her client would consent to probation or community service.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, warned Copeland if he continued to use and abuse drugs his job could be at risk.

He said the court had now moved on from a fine,