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Drug charges land 'recluse' with fine for possession

By Alan Erwin

Published 27/07/2016

Michael Murray was fined £200 after admitting possession of Class B and Class C drugs
Michael Murray was fined £200 after admitting possession of Class B and Class C drugs

A "recluse" only ventured out of his house to get cannabis and diazepam for self-medication, a court heard.

Michael Murray was fined £200 after admitting possession of Class B and Class C drugs.

The 24-year-old, of Essex Grove in Belfast, was arrested following a police search at his home in February.

A judge at the city's Magistrates' Court was told officers found around 80 diazepam tablets and a small quantity of herbal cannabis.

Defence counsel John O'Connor said his client suffered from panic attacks and depression.

Apart from going out to get drugs to help with his issues, Murray never left home, according to his barrister.

"He's a recluse," Mr O'Connor claimed.

"He now realises that he can't self-medicate, and the way to deal with his drug (problem) is to go and see his general practitioner."

Imposing a £100 penalty for each offence, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said: "If he can buy the drugs he can pay the fines."

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