Defendant given chance to stay off drugs

Defendant given chance to stay off drugs

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

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Friday 5 August 2022 10:00

A 27-year-old man has been warned he will lose his liberty if he doesn’t stay off drugs after sentencing was deferred for three months.

The case of Luis Monteiro, of Glenmahon Avenue, Portadown, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, August 3.

The court heard that on April 7 this year, police stopped the defendant on Woodhouse Street, Portadown, after he appeared to be smoking a joint which he had put out on approach and there was a strong smell of cannabis in the area.

Police conducted a search of Monteiro and inside a cigarette packet that was located inside his pocket, they found a gram of suspected cannabis resin.

This was seized by police and made no reply when cautioned.

During a notebook interview, Monteiro admitted it was hash and that he used it to treat his depression.

DJ Kelly asked the defendant – via a translator – if his doctor prescribed cannabis for his depression to which he replied: “I don’t go to the doctor.”

In his defence, the court was told that Monteiro pleaded guilty but it was adjourned for a brief addendum to be obtained.

Mr Thompson, defending, stated that despite his client staying in employment, Monteiro has “attitude problem” when it comes to taking cannabis which will not be tolerated.

The solicitor stressed that Monterio has a low likelihood of re-offending but DJ Kelly replied saying that she didn’t agree with that statement due to the defendant’s daily cannabis use.

Mr Thompson reiterated that Monteiro remains under probation until January 2023 and DJ Kelly was asked to consider a suspended sentence to reflect the seriousness of his offending.

However, the Judge said: “No chance.”

The Judge continued by telling the defendant: “You cannot take non-prescribed drugs at all.

“They are completely illegal in this country and I’m not impressed by the fact that after 12 months on probation, you’re still taking cannabis.

“I am going to give you a chance to prove to me that you don’t want to go to prison.”

The Judge deferred sentencing until October 26 and she told Monteiro to stay off drugs, he was to keep the criminal codes and an updated pre-sentence report.

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