Prison sentence for drugs problem man

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A combination order handed down to a 29-year-old man was revoked last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court and replaced with a prison sentence.

Samuel Thompson, Railway Street, Banbridge, appeared in the dock at last week’s court after a bench warrant had been issued at a previous hearing when he failed to turn up.

The combination order of probation and community service had been imposed for possession of drugs which were found during a search of the defendant’s home.

A probation officer said Thompson had not completed any hours and asked for the order to be revoked and the defendant re-sentenced.

A barrister representing Thompson said his client accepted he was not physically able to complete the hours and it was unlikely he was ever going to complete the hours.

He pointed out that the pre-sentence report at the time of sentencing did flag up health issues.

He had broken his neck and back in 2010 and disclosed to probation he was in the grip of a very serious drug addiction.

The barrister said the offence was for possession of a very small amount of a class B drug, two grams.

He added that Thompson has a record for drugs offences and had a suspended sentence which has another year to run.

District Judge Rosalie Prytherch said that at the time of sentencing it was indicated that Thompson was off drugs so the combination order was fair enough but it had not worked out.

The defendant’s barrister said he was going to have to deal with his addictions and he was still struggling with those issues.

He asked the court not to impose immediate custody but to give Thompson one final chance.

The judge said no hours were done and she believed the offence crossed the custody threshold.

She sentenced Thompson to two months in prison.

Later in the court sitting she granted him bail of £250 to appeal against the sentence and released him pending appeal.