Drugs man took 200 hours CSO rather than jail

Editorial Image.

Editorial Image.

Police swooped on a Ballymena address and found a man in a living room weighing out drugs into smaller bags.

Kirk Dowie (25), a father-of-four, originally from Orkney Drive but whose address is now Incholm Avenue, in Ballymena, admitted possessing cannabis and possession of the Class B drug with intent to supply. The offences were detected on March 24.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday a prosecutor said police were called to a domestic incident and whilst there smelt drugs and found a number of bags containing 20 grammes of cannabis in a hallway and a female was arrested.

Officers then went to another property and found Dowie with 28 grammes of cannabis.

During interview he admitted having the drugs, saying he was an addict who smoked one gramme of cannabis a day, and he said the drugs in the other house were his.

He said he would “conveniently bump into a male at a football pitch” regarding drugs.

Dowie’s phone was seized and text messages related to the supply of drugs.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said although Dowie had previously told a Probation officer he would “rather spend time in custody” the words were only “bravado”.

Mr Law said that having used cannabis for a period it appeared Dowie got into financial difficulties and was supplying friends “under the threat of more sinister individuals who he owed money to” but the debt has now been re-paid.

District Judge Peter King told Dowie he could either do four months in jail or 200 hours of Community Service and the defendant opted for the latter.