A MAN who threw herbal cannabis from a car after he was followed by police in the Ballymoney area said he had bought 57 grammes of the drug to last him for a month as it was “difficult to get at the present time”.
John Peter Millican (34), of Mullaghacall Crescent, Portstewart, admitted a charge of possessing a Class B drug in relation to May 6 this year.
A prosecutor said police saw an Audi A3 at Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney, on May 6 this year and a check indicated an insurance matter.
Police signalled for the vehicle to stop but it went into Ashlea Drive at which point police lost sight for a short time before locating it and stopping it.
Police detected a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle and the defendant denied all knowledge of drugs and said the car belonged to a friend and a wrong turn had been taken on the way to visit another friend.
Police searched the vehicle and nothing was found but when they checked the sides of the road at Ashlea Drive they located two small bags of cannabis.
When interviewed the defendant admitted buying the drugs just before police stopped him and admitted he threw them out in an effort to avoid police finding them.
He said it was for his own use and would last him for a month and had no intention of selling to anyone else.
There were 57.9 grammes of cannabis and the defendant said “it was difficult to get at the current time”.
Defence solicitor John Murphy said it had been some time since the defendant, who had 62 previous convictions, had been in court.
At Coleraine Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, District Judge Peter King said a number of the previous convictions were for drug offending.
At court on Friday the defendant was given a one month prison term, suspended for a year.
The court heard the defendant’s partner had given birth that morning,
The judge told the defendant: “Your focus for the next year has to be at home. That’s your focus, don’t be wasting money on drugs.”