Man ‘unlikely to come before court again’

A Maghera plasterer found with 70 grams of cannabis, valued at £1,000, has been placed on Probation for 12 months.

Twenty-four-year-old Shane Johnston from The Fort, admitted charges of possessing the drug, and having it with intent to supply on July 21 this year.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan told Johnston at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday to comply fully with Probation which would give him an insight into his offending.

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A previous court heard police on patrol saw two males in a car parked at Fairhill in Maghera. One of the males got out and put something beneath the vehicle before running away. The drugs were seized and Johnston was apprehended.

An inquest will be held

During interview the defendant told police the drugs had been bought for use by him and his friends.

Defence lawyer Liam McStay said Johnston had made a full admission to police and was thoroughly ashamed of himself.

He described the defendant as a hardworking young man who came from a good family background.

“He has expressed remorse and apologised fully for his actions,” he said.

Mr McStay asked the court to give him an opportunity, as it was unlikely the defendant would ever come before the court again.

Judge Mullan remarked that the drugs were of significant value but said she believed the defendant would benefit from working with the Probation Service.