Prison warning for man caught with drugs in Banbridge

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A 31-year-old man was warned last Thursday that if he was ever caught for a drugs offence again in the local jurisdiction he would be going to prison.

Brendan Johnston, Springfield Road, Belfast, admitted unlawful possession of cannabis on September 1 this year.

He was fined £300, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy, and sentenced to four months in custody, suspended for two years.

Banbridge Magistrates Court heard that at 2.50am police stopped the defendant at a checkpoint on the Ballygowan Road, Banbridge. There was a smell of cannabis coming from the car and Johnston handed over a small bag containing suspected cannabis.

He admitted it was ‘just a bit of grass’ but refused to say where he bought it.

A barrister representing the defendant said there were three people in the car and they were just returning from holiday. He was the driver and was taking the others home.

The court also heard this was Johnston’s fifth drugs conviction and he had previously received a suspended sentence.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, told the defendant: “If you appear again in his jurisdiction for a drugs offence you will go to prison.”