Suspended sentence for failing probation order

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A 24-year-old man who failed to keep appointments had his probation revoked last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates court and replaced with suspended sentences.

Mark James Devlin, whose address was given as Moorefield, Banbridge, had been convicted on February 2 this year of disorderly behaviour, resisting police and possession of a class B drug.

For each of the three offences he was put on probation for a year.

But he failed to keep appointments on February 8, March 23 and April 6.

The probation service applied at last week’s court to have the order revoked.

A barrister representing the defendant told the judge his instructing solicitor had difficulty in getting in touch with Devlin.

As an arrest warrant was about to be issued the defendant appeared in court and the case went ahead.

A probation officer said they had tried their best to engage with Devlin focussing on his use of drugs but there had been no contact from him from early April.

He asked that the order be revoked and Devlin re-sentenced for the original offences.

The barrister said he could not really resist the application to revoke the order.

He explained that his client suffered from anxiety and depression and he clearly had an addiction to cannabis and alcohol.

The lawyer added that he would like to get a report from the defendant’s GP and a psychiatrist as there were mental health issues. He said Devlin had gone to his GP and was put on medication.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said he would accede to the application from probation and revoke the order.

For each of the three offences he fined Devlin £100 and sentenced him to five months in prison but suspended the terms for two years.