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Man bought drugs in bulk for 'own use'

By Nevin Farrell

A Ballycastle man who has been using drugs for 40 years claimed he had 'hash' worth £360 which he bought in bulk as it is hard to find nowadays.

Stephen John Brown (52), unemployed, of Stroanshesk Park, was sentenced to 150 hours community service at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday.

A prosecutor said police had found 64 grammes of cannabis worth £360 last November.

Brown told police: "The drugs are for my own personal use. I buy them in bulk because hash is so hard to get nowadays."

Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said the defendant had been using cannabis for 40 years as a "lifestyle choice".

Mr Rafferty told the court his client had said 'hash' is harder to get than cannabis leaves and, when it is available, he buys it in bulk. He said there was no evidence of supply and it was accepted it was for personal use.

District Judge Liam McNally said Brown was fortunate not be charged with a supply offence.

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