‘Anti-social element using drugs in park’

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When police saw two people sitting in a Banbridge park they noticed the strong smell of cannabis.

James Walsh (19), Bramblewood Drive, Banbridge, admitted unlawful possession of a class B drug, herbal cannabis, when he appeared last Thursday at the local magistrates’ court, sitting in Newry.

He was fined £250 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

The court heard that on May 18 this year police in Solitude Park at 1.20pm saw the defendant and another person.

He was smoking a cigarette and there was a strong smell of cannabis.Cannabis and a grinder device were handed over to police.

A solicitor representing Walsh said the cannabis was for his own personal use and he made an admission straight away.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said this was a ‘flagrant breach’ of the law and had a significant anti-social element, using drugs in a public park.

He added that Walsh had been warned by police about drugs in the past and now had a criminal record for the use of drugs.

At the same court a charge of unlawful possession of herbal cannabis against the other person involved was withdrawn.

Instead Christian Ford (18), Granville Gardens, Banbridge, was given a caution.