Drugs were found in man’s jacket pocket


A 32-year-old man claimed that he did not know about cannabis which was found in his jacket at his home.

But a judge last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court said that he did not accept that he did not know they were there.

Shane Curtis Whitla, Chestnut Place, Banbridge, was fined £250 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy for unlawful possession of a class B drug on December 10 last year.

The court heard that a drugs search was carried out at the defendant’s home and cannabis worth £20 was found in a jacket pocket in the living room.

Police tried for two weeks to get in touch with Whitla and eventually spoke to him on December 24 when he was found in one of the bedrooms.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said his client had commenced a community service order but had suffered an injury to his wrist.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, wanted to know when the defendant had last done an honest day’s work.

Mr Downey said it was seven years ago since Whitla was last gainfully employed but when this matter and the community service was behind him he hoped to get work as a roofer.

He added that his client would say he was unaware the drugs were in the pocket and when interviewed he made full admission.

He had not come to police attention since this incident.

Judge Copeland said he did not accept Whitla did not know the drugs were there.

He pointed out that he had been warned on November 6 about drugs and on December 10 he was in possession of drugs.

“Let this be the last time you are convicted of anything like this,” he told the defendant.