Former football star ordered to do Community Service for possessing drugs

A former Irish League football star caught with drugs has been ordered to do unpaid work by a judge.

Neil Lowry, (29), of Kintyre Park in Ballymena, who played with Ballymena United until 2017, was in the town’s Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for sentencing in connection with possessing cannabis and a ‘prohibited weapon’ - a taser.

The taser and 15 grammes of cannabis were found during a police search of his home on December 18, 2018.

Half a gramme of cannabis was also found at his home on March 10, 2020.

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A defence lawyer said the defendant suffered injuries which “ended his football career”.

He said Lowry had been “struggling in terms of dealing with that” but now he is “no longer using any sort of substances”.

The lawyer said the defendant is now a “very different character” from the time of the offences.

He said Lowry thought the taser was “legal” as it had been in his home “and had never left his house”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick noted a Probation report assessed the defendant as a “medium likelihood of re-offending”.

The judge put Lowry on Probation for a year and ordered him to do 60 hours of Community Service.