When police were called to a house in Banbridge they discovered a quantity of drugs and a magnet on the electricity meter preventing it from recording.
Michelle Caroline Hudson (46), Highfield Gardens, Banbridge, pleaded guilty to three charges when she appeared last Thursday at the local magistrates’ court.
She was fined £200 and ordered to pay a £15 for unlawful possession of a class B drug, cannabis, on November 22 last year.
For dishonestly using electricity and preventing a meter from recording she was given a conditional discharge for two years.
The court heard that at 11.30pm police were called to a disturbance at the home of the defendant.
There was a strong smell of cannabis in the living room and drugs were seized while it was discovered that a magnet had been placed on the side of the electricity meter. A solicitor for the defendant said she did not obtain the magnet although she did know it was there but she was not fully aware of the consequences.
She added that at the time Hudson’s daughter and boyfriend were living in the house and she took this opportunity to cut some corners and save money.
The solicitor referred to a letter from her GP which indicated she did not have an understanding of her actions and consequences.
She added that the drugs were for Hudson’s own personal use and she had no relevant record in respect of drugs offences.
District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said that up to two or three years ago Hudson had an exemplary record but now had 13 convictions.
He added that he was going to mitigate the penalty given her medical condition.