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'Recluse' only left house for cannabis and diazepam to self-medicate, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 26/07/2016

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

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

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 to 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."

She also warned Murray that any non-payment could result in imprisonment.

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