A Tyrone man discovered with £1,750 worth of cannabis only bought the drugs because he was “stressed” due to another court case.
Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court to be sentenced for possession of the class B drug was Nathaniel McQuaid, 27, from Killyman Street, Moy.
Police reported how they stopped a VW Bora on Moy Road around 10.30pm on Boxing Day 2014.
Initially, McQuaid refused to wind down the window, but when he did the smell of cannabis was immediately apparent to the constables.
A search by the roadside discovered a grinder with traces of suspected drugs while at Dungannon Police Station four bags of drugs were found.
Officers subsequently searched his home and found a large amount of drugs.
McQuaid was later interviewed and stated that the drugs - worth an estimated £1,750 - were for his own personal use.
Reading from the pre-sentence report, District Judge John Meehan commented: “He was going through a court case which he found very stressful?
“Because he was stressed he goes out and buys over £1,000 of drugs? That is a rather creative ... displacement of responsibility.”
Mr Karl Mallon, defending, told the court that his client had earned qualifications in electrical engineering and had attended university before finding full time employment in a call centre in Belfast.
“He has drastically cut down on his use of drugs . he says he was never addicted to this drug.
“He is, frankly, aware that the court may be considering immediate custody and it leaves him fearful for his freedom.”
Deliberating, Judge Meehan said, “I don’t think the court has heard any account where one can be expected to treat him as just having made purchase of these drugs.
“You will be treated as someone who is deep into the drugs underworld.
“However, I will suspend the sentence. But if you come to this court in the next period ... you will be going to prison for an extended period.”
Judge Meehan then handed down a two month prison sentence which he suspended for two years.