Car searched after police officers smell cannabis

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Police smelled herbal cannabis coming from a car they stopped in Magherafelt, the local Magistrates Court heard.

Kealan Neeson (27), of Lavey Park, Knockloughrim, was fined a total of £215 for possessing a quantity of the drug.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that on the evening of October 24 last year a police patrol stopped the suspect on the Highfield Road.

She said officers detected a smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle and this was pointed out to Neeson.

Counsel said a search of the defendant and the vehicle were carried out and two small bags containing a quantity of herbal cannabis with a street value of between £10-£20 were found.

Admitting the offence, a defence lawyer stressed it was “a small amount of cannabis” involved. He pointed out that since the incident the defendant had stayed off the drug and was no longer using it. The lawyer said the incident had been a lesson to the defendant whose girlfriend was pregnant, and this had reinforced his determination to give the drug up.

The barrister added that Neeson was working as a plasterer and pleaded with the court to give him credit for entering an early plea to the charge.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Oonagh Mullan remarked that the defendant had other convictions which had happened sometime ago.

She also made an order for the immediate destruction of the seized herbal cannabis.